AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Higher freight charges the only product of farmer uncertainty

<p>Government indecision would force Western Australia’s farmers to pay more in freight rates this year, the state’s farmers’ association said last week (Friday, July 27).</p> <p>WAFarmers transport spokesman John Hassell said there were a number of factors that were inhibiting the state’s farmers, including the Federal Government’s delays in deciding on new wheat export arrangements.</p> <p>Mr Hassell said the uncertainty about grain freight network funding, from all levels of government, was frustrating farmers already unsure of bulk wheat marketing plans.</p> <p>&#8220The level of investment required has been determined by several strategic studies undertaken over the last two years,&#8221 Mr Hassell said.</p> <p>Farmers were indirectly paying maintenance and construction costs for existing and new roads throughout the state as freight providers pass on their increased costs.</p> <p>Encouraging rail ahead of road use was not making the process cheaper, he said.</p> <p>&#8220The various parties involved in this whole issue need to be continually reminded that it is grain producers who pay all of the cost which ever way the grain gets to port,&#8221 Mr Hassell said.</p> <p>&#8220Enough is enough when farmers can’t directly pass this cost increase onto the purchaser of the grain.&#8221 </p> <br />