We need more to save rail freight, grain farmers say

WA Farmers Federation says more money is needed to keep grain on rail despite $29.2 million government contribution

January 20, 2010

The Western Australian Farmers Federation (WA Farmers) says more money is needed to ensure grain continues to be transported by rail despite a $29.2 million contribution from the state’s government.

WA Farmers President Mike Norton says while the pledge was a step forward to keeping grain on rail, the package sounds "better than it actually is".

"Approximately $129 million is required to upgrade the Chester Pass Road as a matter of urgency, so while the State Government contribution of $500,000 is welcome it is the very first step required," he says.

Apart from the Chester Pass Road funding, $21.8 million has been pledged to re sleeper the Avon to Albany rail line and another $6.9 million will be spent to try and keep grain on rail for the duration of the current harvest.

The $6.9 million spend is designed to limit the number of heavy vehicle movements on road by addressing the difference in freight rates for rail versus road on selected lines deemed to be uneconomic.

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