Tier three lines must be saved

Lauren CelenzaCountryman
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The Wheatbelt Rail Retention Alliance is working with WAFarmers to keep tier three rail lines open.

A meeting of nearly 30 shire and WAFarmers zone representatives on Monday proved the organisation was united in its belief that retention of the lines is paramount.

The meeting was told that CBH’s decision to purchase trains showed the potential of tier three lines needed to be reconsidered.

The withdrawal of these lines from service would result in more than two million tonnes of grain being transported by road via more than 85,000 truck movements.

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Quairading shire chief executive Graeme Fardon said they had called upon Transport Minister Troy Buswell to consider a complete review of the Strategic Grain Network Committee (SGNC) business case.

“We do not consider the roads that are being funded are anywhere near up to standard for the major grain freight task in WA, ” Mr Fardon said.

“The tier three lines which have been earmarked for closure are going to come out of operation before the roadworks are completed so grain will be carted on half constructed roads.

“We are very concerned in Quairading that grain is going off rail onto roads which are in a very bad state.”

WAFarmers Bruce Rock representative, Jane Fuchsbichler, said the words “crazy” and “scary” came up a lot at the meeting.

“Shires are very worried about the ongoing funding and potential road trauma, ” she said.

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