Election 2013 Western Australia March 9

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Grain Rail iT Matters

WALGA Supports Grain Rail

The WA Local Government Association has supported moves to keep Grain Rail, or what is also called Tier 3, open in Western Australian regional areas.

Statement

The WA Local Government Association had recently written to the four main political parties seeking funding support on grain transport infrastructure – along with commitments on 12 other sector priorities - as the first part of its What’s In It For You? campaign in the lead up to the State Election in early March.

WALGA President Mayor Troy Pickard said the requests to the Liberal Party, WA Labor, Nationals and Greens had been for a commitment to $126m in capital expenditure and $8.5m for annual maintenance for local roads as a consequence of increased grain transport by trucks.

“We had been requesting funding for the roads but what WA Labor has committed is another way of helping solve the same issue,” Mayor Pickard said.

“Local Governments in WA are responsible for more than 70 per cent of all roads and of particular recent concern has been the adverse impact of increased grain freight coming off the rails and onto the roads.

“Although it is as yet unknown the impact that this $30m would have on ensuring grain is transported by rail; it is certainly a positive commitment, and the sector will applaud WA Labor for taking the initiative on this issue to attempt to help get grain transport off local roads and back onto the rail lines where it is more cost effective and safer for the community.”

The WALGA grain road funding request was supported by the Greens while the Nationals gave no specific position beyond continuing Royalties for Regions. Premier Colin Barnett also did not commit the Liberals to specific funding other than to “continue to support investment in country roads” where rail lines are not “economically viable”

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