AusRAIL, Market Sectors

WA might help bail out West Rail freight network

<p>The Western Australian Government has conceded it might have to pump funds into the West Rail freight network.</p> <p>A spokeswoman for WA infrastructure minister Alannah MacTiernan told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN </em> that the government was in discussion with the West Rail freight network track operator, Australian Railroad Group (ARG), about keeping the line open.</p> <p>"We believe that it should not be closed," the spokeswoman said.</p> <p>The government would probably have to put up some cash to resolve the situation, she said.</p> <p>The state opposition has said that a drop in the number of woodchips hauled along the Greenbushes-Diamond Mill line, from almost 1m tonnes a year to 300,000 tonnes, has made it difficult for ARG to make a profit.</p> <p>The opposition blames the Gallop Government’s forest policies for the problems with the ailing lines.</p> <p>But Ms MacTiernan’s office has in turn blamed the opposition for having privatised the rail network in the first place &#8211 without having properly secured the $400m of private investment that it "trumpeted" that the state’s track would receive after the sale. </p> <br />