AusRAIL, Market Sectors

WA Budget secures future of grain freight network

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> WestNet Rail has welcomed the Western Australian Government’s budgetary commitment to the first stage of a government funded investment package in the state’s grain freight network. </span> <p>By Jennifer Perry</p><p>The government announced that it would fund a 50% share of the $43.5m required to undertake the re-sleepering of the Avon to Albany rail line, as recommended by the Strategic Grain Network Committee.<br />The remaining 50% requires Federal Government funding, yet to be announced.<br />“The state government’s commitment to invest in the future of the grain network should be applauded and we now look forward to a positive response from the Federal Government,” WestNet Rail general manager Paul Larsen said.<br />“The Avon to Albany line is the backbone of the grain network in the Great Southern region. Investing in this line will ensure growers in the region have transport options, while keeping thousands of trucks off the road for the motoring public.”<br />WestNet Rail, which was an active participant in the Strategic Grain Network Committee, believes the Committee has developed a “blueprint” for the future of the network that will have long term benefits to the $5bn grain export business as well as social and community benefits of minimising the impact of heavy vehicles on roads. <br />“WestNet Rail acknowledges the recommendations by the … Committee to ultimately place some lines in care and maintenance over the next two years, and supports the initial $6.9m Transition Assistance Package to keep grain on rail during the current harvest while investment in the affected roads can occur,” the company said in a statement.<br />&nbsp</p>