Road spend moving too slow to support WA grain harvest


WA's road upgrade program's moving too slow to support grain harvest, prompting talk of extending life of rail lines

September 2, 2011

Western Australia is looking at extending the life of rail lines after realising its road spending program will not deliver in time to support the 2011-12 grain harvest.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell says the $105 million road spending initiative is not moving fast enough to ensure roads can support the rise in freight levels stemming from planned rail closures.

"As a result the Government is doing two things - accelerating spending for the $105 million three-year road upgrade program and investigating the extension of the operational life of three Tier 3 Wheatbelt rail lines that went into care and maintenance in June this year," Buswell says.

"We are looking at extending the operational life of the Quairading to York; Trayning to West Merredin; and Bruce Rock to Yilliminning lines, and I have asked Brookfield Rail to advise whether it can undertake the required works to have the lines ready."

The extension will only apply to the 2011-12 harvest, with Buswell expecting the necessary road upgrades to be completed by April 2013.

He says Main Roads will work with local councils to accelerate the upgrades so roads are capable of shouldering the 2012-13 harvest.



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