Grain transport taskforce announced


A high-level review looking for ways to rebuild an efficient grain transport network in NSW will begin this month

A high-level review looking for ways to rebuild an efficient grain transport network in NSW will begin this month, after the Rudd Government appointed its review taskforce.

The former deputy chair of the National Transport Commission (NTC), Des Powell, will head the review and is expected to report to the Government by May 2009.

Powell will be joined by grower and grain handling groups, rail operators Pacific National and El Zorro, the Australian Rail track Corporation (ARTC) and the Rail, Tram and Bus Union.

The taskforce will also include government bodies, with Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Anthony Albanese announcing the Local Government Association of NSW and the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry will be involved.

The taskforce is part of a $3 million investment by the Rudd Government to develop measures to improve grain exports.

"The NSW grains industry is a critical part of the national economy, and the Rudd Government is committed to developing the best solutions for the future," Albanese says.

"The review will examine grain freight supply chains and identify the most sustainable, long-term solution for moving grain efficiently from farmer to customer."

The taskforce will look at cropping patterns, densities, innovations and the impact climate change may have.

The review will also determine the impact of regulatory reform, market demand for grain and the capacity of supply chain infrastructure and other transport options in the short, medium and long term.

In making its findings, Albanese says the review will draw on previous work by the NSW Grain Infrastructure Advisory Committee.

Albanese says it is necessary to boost grain transport efficiency because it produces between five and six million tonnes of grain to meet domestic demand and export markets.

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