Trucks not needed with rail agreement on WA grain

Trucks stood down as WA reaches agreement with rail operator on carrying grain harvest

The upcoming Western Australian grain harvest will be transported by rail and not by trucks after an agreement was brokered by the WA Government.

A dispute between rail network operator WestNet Rail and the Government over the network's safety could have meant an extra 300,000 tonnes of grain moved by road.

WestNet had shutdown four lines in the area on June 15 saying they were unfit for use.

But an agreement has been reached for the lines to remain open for the time being. An audit will be conducted by the newly formed Strategic Grain Network Committee (SGNC) to determine the long-term future of the system before the end of 2009.

"The commitment by WestNet Rail to recommence train operations whilst the SGNC assesses the sectors needs is welcome," says Transport Minister Simon O'Brien.

"I am confident that the SGNC will provide the Government and the sector with productive and credible recommendations before the end of 2009 that will enable all parties to constructively plan for the future."

WestNet Rail General Manger Paul Larsen says the commitment from the Government would give the grain industry certainty about the future of the grain rail network.

"WestNet Rail is pleased with the results of the constructive discussion with the Minister's office and looks forward to the SGNC providing clarity to industry about the future Government investment in the network before the end of the calendar year," he says.

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