PEOPLE are invited to photocopy this letter, sign it and send it to the Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
You can send an email to: minister.Saffioti@dpc.wa.gov.au
Dear Rita Saffioti,
Minister for Transport,
We are concerned graingrowers and would like the governments, both State and Federal, to increase their investment into a robust grain transport network for Western Australia.
This would involve rebuilding the unused lines to a standard where grain can be safely and economically delivered to port for many years to come.
Our advice is that these lines need upgrading to 19 tonne axle loading and allowing train speeds to 80 kilometres per hour as recommended in the Agonis Report.
The lines for consideration would be those that are set out in the Tier 3 Grain Lines Engineering Review Report, undertaken by the Agonis Group.
This investment would result in a major increase in public safety, removing tens of thousands of truck movements from and inadequate road network, reduce farmers' costs, lessen road maintenance and lower the carbon footprint, by reducing the number of grain carting trucks on regional roads.
It would be a huge financial benefit to the State and Federal Government into the future.
The lost opportunity costs suffered by growers and the WA economy from this year's harvest alone are significant, estimated to be in the region of $1 - $1.2 billion.
Our lost income varies and has been estimated at up to $100/t.
Growers in WA have invested heavily in the production and research into growing grain and ship loading capacity at our ports.
At Kwinana, Geraldton, Albany, Esperance these grain terminals were developed and are owned by farmers through CBH.
Sadly, our internal transport system has failed to match the WA grains export industry's needs.
Will you please undertake the implementation of the Agonis Engineering Report.
These are similar requests as set out from the Kulin grower meeting attended by 240 growers.
Minister, the continued success and development of our grains industry depends heavily on your government's involvement in helping to continue to grow all parts of our industry as needed and to enable us to supply a strategic source of food into a growing World market.
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