Friday 20th Apr, 2018

New regional freight strategy to be developed for WA

Rail track. Photo: RailGallery.com.au
Rail track. Photo: RailGallery.com.au

The McGowan government has started its development of a new freight strategy, with a focus on creating an up-to-date multi-modal system that can boost the productivity of Western Australia’s regional agricultural industry.

According to state transport minister Rita Saffioti said, the Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight Strategy is to prioritise rail and road infrastructure upgrades, intermodal terminal development and technological solutions to ensure the state’s supply chain is integrated with the current and future trends of the agricultural industry, as well as improving efficiency and safety of transport.

“Improving transport efficiency across the supply chains that agriculture relies on to get products to global markets can contribute to reduced costs and enhance the national and international competitiveness of WA products,” Rita Saffioti said.

“This strategy is just another part of our integrated plan for freight and trade, which will help drive economic growth and jobs for years to come.”

A multi-agency team with representatives from the Department of Transport, Main Roads Western Australia, Public Transport Authority and Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development will come together to develop the strategy.

Throughout the planning process, the team will engage with external stakeholders across the entire supply-chain.

Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan said that the strategy would respond to the need to continually improve cost efficiency in a competitive global market.

“With increased competition from Black Sea grain, our growers need an efficient freight network to remain internationally competitive,” MacTiernan said.

“An effective regional freight transport network is critical for the long-term economic development of Western Australia.”

By identifying key freight transport demands for western Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and southern Goldfields-Esperance agricultural regions, it is hoped that the strategy will provide the framework upon which business cases for road, rail, intermodal and port projects will be developed over the next 10 years.

The strategy, along with a project list, will be released in the second half of 2018.