EXCITING developments were underway at Brookton today, with the CBH Group commemorating the start of work at the Brookton rail siding extension, which is the first of 11 rail siding extension projects as part of the Agricultural Supply Chain Initiative (ASCI).
It was a great turn out from a variety of different guests, including WA Agriculture Minister and Food, Forestry and Small Business Jackie Jarvis, CBH chair Simon Stead and CBH chief executive officer Ben Macnamara, who all mentioned how impressed they were by the speed of the project.
Mr Stead joked that if they waited any longer to do the 'breaking ground' ceremony, they might as well do a ribbon cutting ceremony instead.
Brookton is the first of 11 rail siding extension projects at sites across CBH's network, funded in partnership with the Western Australian and Commonwealth Government under the $200 million first package of the Agricultural Supply Chain Improvements (ASCI) Program.
Mr Stead said it was an important milestone which comes less than 12 months since Package 1 of the ASCI program was announced.
"I want to thank the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments for their commitment to invest in our state's agricultural infrastructure to boost regional economies," Mr Stead said.
"The back-to-back record WA harvests highlight the need to continue investing in the supply chain so that we have a network that can sustainably deliver value to WA growers for the long term."
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There was no indication of when the state and federal governments was planning on implementing a second package, but Mr Macnamara seemed confident that CBH would prove a worthwhile investment.
Mr Macnamara said the rail siding project will bring economic benefits to Brookton and surrounding areas.
"The Brookton project has supported the creation of 34 jobs, employed three local contractors for civil works and a further three indigenous businesses to carry out site works," Mr Macnamara said.
"In addition, building and civil materials have been sourced from local quarries and farms."
The project is essential to allow CBH to load longer trains at Brookton, to help improve rail efficiency and ensure the supply chain can export more grain to customers.
CBH expects construction at Brookton to be completed at the end of 2023.
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