Rail Freight Network Still On Track

Rail Freight Network Still On Track

Western Australia Minister for Transport Troy Buswell

Government Reaffirms Commitment To Grain Freight Network Investment Strategy

Victor P Taffa

The State Government will proceed with its strategy to invest more than $350 Million in Western Australia’s grain freight network.

The State’s investment program includes upgrades on the most competitive grain freight lines ($187.9 Million); improvements and maintenance to Wheatbelt roads ($118.3 Million); and a transition package to ensure rail transport remained competitive with road ($14.6 Million).

Transport Minister Troy Buswell said he had met with CBH and was unconvinced by the case it put forward for Government to re-sleeper the Tier 3 rail lines in place of investment in roads where these lines were due to cease operations.

“There are a number of significant issues with the CBH case for Government to change its investment strategy, including but not limited to an inconclusive cost benefit analysis and the fact that several infrastructure costs were not taken into account.” Mr. Buswell said.

 

“There isn’t a compelling case for the retention of the Tier 3 lines and therefore the Government is not prepared to change an investment of more than $100 Million from roads to re-sleepering of the Tier 3 lines.”

The Minister said the Government had given CBH time to present its case, but now expected it to proceed in accordance with the original strategy.

“I encourage CBH to proceed with its investment in rapid loading facilities at Brookton and Kellerberrin.” Mr. Buswell said.

“The Government remains committed to its investment in road infrastructure to support the increased volumes transported by road to sites such as Brookton.”

Mr. Buswell said $104 Million would be spent on upgrading more than 480 km of State and local government roads across 15 shires over the next four years. Another $14 Million had been allocated to the maintenance of roads in the grain freight network.

“Main Roads WA has finalised the scope of these works and have discussed these with relevant shires.” Mr. Buswell said.

“In the meantime, road upgrades have already commenced on the Gorge Rock-Lake Grace Road and the Cunderdin-Quairading Road.” Mr. Buswell said.