Rural infrastructure planning initiative launched in WA


Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight (RARF) Strategy tackles road and rail

Rural infrastructure planning initiative launched in WA
WA agriculture-related infrastructure planning has a new strategy

 

Western Australia has launched its Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight (RARF) Strategy, with a view to planning for future investment in agricultural freight infrastructure.

The state governments casts the strategy as providing a framework and consolidated project packages that prioritise future investment in road, rail, intermodal and port infrastructure projects for the next 10-15 years in the key agricultural regions of the Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance.

The proposed 20 priority project packages are aimed at addressing challenges such as the need to improve rail infrastructure, establish intermodal terminals, undertake targeted road network investment, increase heavy vehicle access and improve regulatory efficiency.

According to the government, feedback received on the draft RARF Strategy, released for public comment last June, resulted in the inclusion of a more comprehensive list of road project priorities and a more targeted list of projects on the Tier 1 and Tier 2 rail networks.


Read about WA’s action on oversize agricultural vehicles, here


"Work has already started with industry on progressing project packages, with the State Government working with CBH and Arc Infrastructure to progress business cases for Tier 1 and Tier 2 railway packages identified as a priority in this strategy," transport minister Rita Saffioti says.

"We recognise there is a lot of sentiment around the Tier 3 lines and have commissioned an engineering assessment to advise on the cost and time required for potential rehabilitation.

"This new strategy will provide a strong plan for investment in agricultural freight supply chains that will assist in WA's economic recovery following the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"It complements our recently announced $87.5 million Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network upgrades that aim to improve safety and efficiency to a key freight supply chain.

"It will also provide a framework for industry to work closely with state and Commonwealth governments to develop and progress business cases for road, rail, intermodal and port infrastructure projects over the coming years."

The recently launched Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network road program aims to improve road reliability and ensure crucial supply chains continue to improve.

"With the agricultural and food sector representing about 10 per cent of WA's economy, we need to ensure our crucial transport supply chains continue to improve, helping our key regional agricultural areas prepare for future growth and ensure we have a diverse and robust economy," agriculture and food minister Alannah MacTiernan says.

"The strategy addresses the key challenges faced when transporting grain, livestock, hay, and will help improve infrastructure, freight productivity and safety on our freight supply networks, enhancing the international competitiveness of WA products."

More information on the Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight Strategy can be found here.

 

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