BEFORE voting in the CBH District 4 director elections, please growers, check to see if the candidates support reinstating Tier 3 rails lines.
Many people are under the misapprehension that Tier 3 rail closures only affect the Kwinana zone.
This is not the case.
The proposed Albany bypass with a price tag of $175 million for 11.5 kilometres equates to more than $15m per kilometre - how long will it last before a rebuild or repairs are required?
The repair and upgrade of Tier 3 lines would undoubtedly be far cheaper and we await the results of the engineering assessment.
The Nyabing line in the Albany zone could potentially be reopened.
A high-end upgrade would last 50 to 70 years, maybe even longer.
Will the Albany bypass last 50 to 70 years without major repair work?
Attracting grain on to the Nyabing line would remove 250,000 to 350,000 tonnes of grain (depending upon the season) from Albany district roads, equating to up to 9000 truck movements taken off roads travelling to the Albany port.
We understand that there is an annual flagfall paid by CBH/growers to Arc Infrastructure following arbitration.
Every extra tonne of grain on rail spreads the flagfall over more tonnes thus reducing freight rates for all rail users.
Add to this the benefits of road safety, carbon footprint and a more efficient path to port, rail is the best option, now and into the future.
Transport Minister Rita Saffioti has an engineering assessment of Tier 3 rail lines underway.
A united CBH board keen to get grain back onto Tier 3 rail would be a huge positive for a safe and sustainable rail freight network, for all WA grain growers.
Please use your vote wisely and help to get Tier 3 rail lines operating.
- Greg Richards is the chairman of the Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance and is from Quairading.