GrainCorp accused of illegally operating trucks

GrainCorp accused of illegally using B-doubles in regional NSW due to declining freight rail network

GrainCorp accused of illegally operating trucks
GrainCorp accused of illegally operating trucks
By Michael House

GrainCorp has been accused of illegally using B-doubles in regional NSW, with claims a declining freight rail network is leading to unlawful road transport operations.

Although has GrainCorp dismissed the claims as false, NSW Greens MP Lee Rhiannon says GrainCorp-contracted trucks are being used illegally in Greenthorpe.

Rhiannon says the company has been forced to use the trucks because the Rees Government is not investing enough in rail, but GrainCorp says the assertions are not true.

"It beggars in belief that an organisation of our standing would instruct trucking operators acting on our behalf to break the road rules," the spokesman says.

"We don’t do that and it is a completely inaccurate assertion made by Ms Rhiannon."

The NSW Government has also criticised Rhiannon for claiming Minister for Transport David Campbell will close down rail lines at Young, Greenthorpe and Cowra in the next two months.

"As I have said previously — if Lee Rhiannon had bothered listening — a final decision on any grain lines being suspended will be made following the outcomes of the Federal Government’s NSW Grain Taskforce," Campbell says.

Campbell says the Government is committed to maintaining a rail service, referring to a five-year rail haulage deal the Government made with GrainCorp last month as proof.

However, Rhiannon has labelled the Government’s decision to give away 18 locomotives and 180 wagons to GrainCorp as "one of the major scandals" the Rees Government has been involved in.

Rhiannon’s comments come despite assurances from GrainCorp that it is also committed to rail.

The spokesman for the company says rail remains the transport mode of choice because it is quicker and ties in with infrastructure at various ports.

He also says trucks remain an integral component of the grain haulage operation for excess deliveries of grain to places rail cannot reach.

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