Wednesday 19th Dec, 2018

Fremantle rail subsidy to rise

Port of Fremantle - Photo Fremantle Ports
Photo: Fremantle Ports

The subsidy for freight operators moving their containers to the WA port of Fremantle by rail will increase from $30 to $50 per twenty-foot of container, the state’s transport minister has said.

Transport minister Rita Saffioti said subsidy increase is part of the State Government’s goal to boost rail’s share of containers to the port from around 15% to 20%.

The goal stems from the McGowan Government’s election commitment to cancel the Perth Freight Link road project, and find alternative options to boost the Port of Fremantle’s capacity.

The subsidy will increase from $30 to $50 from January 1, 2018, and Saffioti said the subsidy will continue to be passed on, in full, to rail customers.

The minister said the subsidy would be paid for all loaded containers that move between North Quay Rail Terminal, Forresfield and Kwinana, as well as for containers filled with hay that are received by rail at NQRT for export.

“The rail service plays a significant role in achieving greater efficiency in the container supply chain as well as improving community amenity and environmental benefits along metropolitan roads that link to Fremantle Port,” Saffioti said.

“That is why the McGowan Government has delivered on its election commitment to increase the container rail subsidy to encourage more container movements on the port rail service.”

Fremantle is the Australia’s busiest container port west of Melbourne.

The State Government has launched the Westport Taskforce to develop a future plan for the inner and outer harbours at Fremantle, as well as the road and rail options that will help facilitate that growth.

The Taskforce held its first meeting in December.

The State Government says increasing the rail share for container haulage is one of several initiatives to improve efficiencies at the Inner Harbour to facilitate trade growth until additional port facilities are viable.

Enabling development of the broader rail supply chain, including intermodal facilities to enhance rail system efficiencies and minimise truck movements on Perth roads, is another initiative outlined by the Government.

“It’s pleasing to see the integrated plan for freight and trade in WA coming together, which will help drive economic growth and jobs for years to come,” Saffioti concluded.

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