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Tier 3 Rail recommendations: A victory for common sense
It isn’t often, as a member of a minority party in the upper house, that one can influence government policy, but today I can point to one very powerful step in that direction.
Today, my committee released a short report with two recommendations:
1. That the WA Government keep the Central Wheatbelt Tier 3 rail lines open until the end of 2014 to enable CBH Group to demonstrate the business case for retention of these lines, and;
2. That in conjunction with the Recommendation 1 demonstration period, the WA Government commission the Wheatbelt Development Commission to undertake an economic review of the appropriate grain transport infrastructure for the areas serviced by the Central Wheatbelt Tier 3 lines.
This is a very encouraging outcome for Wheatbelt and city residents who have been looking down the barrel of the rail line closures, and a subsequent increase in heavy road haulage, proscribed by the Barnett-Grylls Government.
The Committee’s recommendations represent a victory for common sense in State transport policy. The Wheatbelt and those suburbs of Perth traversed by freight routes do not want an increase in heavy haulage with all the associated impacts on amenity, road safety, and environmental health. This includes a large part of my electorate of South Metropolitan and Fremantle in particular.
The government now has two months to respond to these recommendations. It is my hope that the Premier and the Transport Minister will see the good sense embodied in the recommendations and adopt them in full.