truck traffic shock: ‘recipe for disaster’

truck

A bumper wheat crop combined with the closure of the Tier 3 rail network means more trucks on Hills roads. A lot more trucks.

Wheatbelt farmers are expecting their “biggest season ever” with a harvest expected to surpass previous records and exceed well over 13 million tonnes.

With the closure of some of the lines within Tier 3 rail link, the rail network used to haul the annual wheat harvest west to port, all bulk wheat movement will be by road. The lines to be closed include York to Quairading and Merredin to Trayning.

Bill Cowan, from the Wheatbelt Railway Retention Alliance says “It’s an absolute disaster.”

“To keep the Tier 3 rail line open is a no–brainer”, Mr Cowan told ABC Radio, “There is no way trucks can carry a load of this size”.

The transfer from rail to road will mean thousands of extra road trains along rural roads and through the Hills.

Opposition spokesperson Ken Travers believes, “It’s a recipe for disaster. People will lose their lives” he told ABC Radio. “We remember the wrap around advertising before the election and the promises to keep Tier 3 open”.

The Tier 3 rail network is operated privately by Brookefield Rail under arrangement with CBH. However, the two companies have been unable to reach agreement about required funding to carry out repairs and keep to line open.

“This is not a decision (to close the line) we have taken lightly, but in the absence of substantial investment from government to support a longer-term operation, Brookfield Rail is not satisfied the safe and sustainable operation of these two lines can be maintained past October 31,” Brookefield Rail chief executive Paul Larsen told The West Australian.

Standing in for Transport Minister Troy Buswell, Brendon Grylls told ABC Rural, “CBH has never been able to come back and make a case to Government to put tax payer investment into that rail network and that’s why the Government has been investing in the roads.”

“The only position you can take out of this is that there isn’t a viable case for an upgrade to the Tier 3 lines otherwise CBH and Brookfield would’ve already made that argument.”

 

 

One Comment

  1. I hope there is not another crash like the recent Gidge truck tragedy.

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