AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Reduction in rail access fees welcomed

<p>GrainCorp today (Wednesday, February 27) welcomed a $20m package put forth by the Victorian Government to reduce grain rail access fees.</p> <p>Premier John Brumby yesterday made a two-year commitment to keep container and export grain freight on rail.</p> <p>The Rail Freight Support Package will provide a rebate for container freight carried on rail from Warrnambool, Horsham, Mildura and Shepparton&#47Tocumwal.</p> <p>Mr Brumby said the rebate would provide crucial short-term support and ensure rail freight is a viable alternative to road freight. </p> <p>Rail minister Lynne Kosky said the rebate would be available to operators of regional intermodal terminals contracting to provide rail freight services and to grain terminal operators.</p> <p>&#8220The rebate will be based on a benchmark rate of $100 per 20 foot equivalent container adjusted for volume and distance,&#8221 Ms Kosky said.</p> <p>GrainCorp managing director Tom Keene said that given Asciano’s announcement of its intention to withdraw rail services, any proposal that would make rail a more viable alternative for transporting grain was welcome.</p> <p>&#8220Reducing the rail access fees is a good first step in ensuring that we maintain a supply chain for growers in Victoria,&#8221 Mr Keene said</p> <p>&#8220This reduction makes rail more competitive with road, which will encourage much needed investment into trains.&#8221</p> <p>However ,Mr Keene said there was still a long way to go to ensure reliable rail services for the 08&#4709 harvest.</p> <p>&#8220This is the first piece in the puzzle and we will continue to encourage the Victorian Government to commit to the grains industry through long-term reductions in access fees and maintenance of the rail network,&#8221 Mr Keene said.</p> <br />