Logistics News

GPA wants freight costs lowered

GPA calls for increased investment and design planning on Inland Rail

Grains Producers Australia (GPA) says recent economic modelling by the CSIRO raises expectations for grain producers about the need to lower freight transport costs and boost farm sustainability.

The CSIRO report suggests the Inland Rail could cut freight transport costs by up to $213 million a year, meaning there would be a $48.87 per tonne saving for cropping according to the GPA.

The Federal Government says this freight reduction could result in “huge” savings for businesses that use the line, further driving the growth of regional Australia.

But the GPA says this rhetoric must be matched by real bottom line savings for Australian grain producers and their communities.

“The CSIRO’s findings provide a light at the end of a long tunnel for the grain farmers and their communities who may benefit from the delivery of this rail infrastructure,” GPA Chair Barry Large says.

“However, this is a forecast future return only and grain producers throughout Australia are currently paying the highest transportation costs.

“This is having a significant impact on our sustainability and competitiveness and more needs to be done across the nation to address these constraints.”

According to the GPA, in their 2022 Federal election survey, 44.4 per cent of respondents named transportation infrastructure/ freight costs as one of their top five policy issues which they want prioritised by the Federal government.

“That’s why we’re calling for high-level future-proofing investment from government in this area to help cut these huge freight costs that we’re still paying for right now,” GPA Deputy Chair Andrew Earle says.

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“We’re calling for a comprehensive strategic analysis of the national grains supply chain and associated infrastructure costs such as road quality, rail connectivity and port access to inform national decision-making on future investments.”

The GPA says the Inland Rail project needs more work to fully benefit agriculture and regions, with investments the priority to ensure the grains supply chain is designed to meet projected growth targets.

“Australian producers need access to a supply chain that provides the least-cost pathway to market and optimises our international competitiveness,” Earle says.

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