The Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc.) (WAFarmers) congratulates the CBH Group and Watco on reaching their one year anniversary working together to move the state’s grain harvest on rail.
Since 30 March 2012, CBH and Watco have moved nearly five million tonnes of grain on the state’s grain rail network.
WAFarmers President and Transport Spokesman, Dale Park, said the partnership was proving the value of the state’s grain rail network.
“WAFarmers would like to congratulate CBH and Watco on a job well done over the last 12 months,” Mr Park said.
“These two companies are showing the value in our grain rail network and that with appropriate investment from government and industry, the grain rail network can continue to be utilised to transport the state’s grain crop.
“They need to be commended for listening to the concerns of growers and rural communities and backing the use of the Tier 3 rail network, in particular.”
Mr Park said recent rate estimates showed a seven per cent decrease in rail rates and a five to eight per cent increase in road rates, even with some areas of Tier 3 network having not been maintained to the optimum level.
“In some sections, the locomotives are travelling at under 20 km/hour and we would expect this to improve with more investment in the rail infrastructure,” he said.
“WAFarmers and affiliated organisation, the Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance’s, consistent positioning regarding the closure of the Tier 3 network is the resultant additional minimum of 57,000 truck movements in Western Australia each year proves the value of the CBH and Watco partnership to keep grain on rail.
“This is not purely an issue for agriculture and farmers; this is an issue for road users across the state. Transporting grain via trucks increases traffic on our roads and we have seen a number of horrific traffic incidents between passenger vehicles and grain trucks,” Mr Park concluded.