WAFarmers is disappointed with the announcement that Brookfield Rail will be closing two Tier 3 grain freight lines, in part due to State government inaction on funding commitments.
With an anticipated 2.5 million tonnes to be harvested in the grain-growing areas around Quairading and Trayning, the closure will effectively mean there will be thousands of extra truck movements on Western Australia’s deteriorating rural road network each year, WAFarmers President Dale Park said.
“The issue of Tier 3 closures poses a huge safety risk for the road users in Western Australia, as an increasing amount of trucks carting grain will be forced onto roads unfit to carry them,” Mr Park said.
“The State government has failed to honour its commitment to upgrade rural roads to a standard able to cope with increased truck traffic.”
Mr Park said the lack of transparency from key stakeholders with industry was disappointing, but groups including WAFarmers and the Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance would continue to fight to maintain the Tier 3 network.
“WAFarmers is seeking urgent discussions with the Public Transport Authority to attempt to resolve this issue and retain and improve the Tier 3 network ahead of the proposed closure of the two lines on October 31,” he said.
Mr Park said the timing of the closure could not be worse as farmers began harvesting what is expected to be a bumper crop for many in the Wheatbelt after the season was transformed by rain through August and September.