Rail industry news (Australia, New Zealand), Conferences, Freight Rail

WA state minster update

Meredith Hammat, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport, has provided an update for Western Australia and what the government is doing to support the Heavy Haul industry in the state.

Hammat explained that the heavy haul industry in Western Australia is going through a period of significant progress including decarbonisation, shifts in the labour market and leaps in innovation and automation.

“Our government is committed to supporting the industry and reducing freight cots for operators,” she said.

Hammat touched on the recent flooding in the last couple of days that had closed the East West line as some parts of the region received half of their annual rainfall in 24 hours.

“We have seen significant water across the roads and railways,” she said.

“90 per cent of WA’s groceries come on the rail freight network and the WA supply chains have been significantly effected over the last few years.

“The resilience of our supply chains is essential, we cannot always predict these weather events but we have to be prepared to manage them.”

Hammat touched on the Fremantle container subsidy and its help in removing over 100,000 one way truck movements in and around Perth.

“The use of freight increased from 15 per cent in 2016-17 to exceed the 20 per cent target in the recent financial years,” she said.

“The Agriculture supply chain improvement program is targeted rail and freight upgrades to keep up with demand now and into the future.”

Climate change

The WA government belives the heavy haul industry has an important role to play in its decarbonisation journey.

“The industry has a bit of work to do in this space but we have a clear focus to reduce freight emissions,” Hammat said

“It will be improtnat to improve rail and port infrastructure.

It will not happen overnight but it will be important that the government supports the industry on this journey.”