Govt pledge on rail lines

Rueben HaleThe West Australian
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The State Government has made its long-anticipated response to the freight rail inquiry.

It had been due 90 days after the Economic and Industry Standing Committee handed down its report on the management of the State's freight rail network on October 16 last year.

In his address to Parliament on Tuesday, Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the Government would work with CBH and Brookfield to determine whether a viable business case can be developed for Tier 3 rail lines.

He said the response confirmed the longstanding Government position that the maintenance of all leased railway infrastructure was the responsibility of Brookfield Rail, and investment in freight railways was primarily the responsibility of the private sector.

"The Government has written to CBH and Brookfield Rail to express its willingness to work with them to determine whether a viable business case can be developed for the Tier 3 rail lines, and strongly encourages both parties to negotiate in good faith to bring this ongoing matter to a conclusion," he said.

Mr Nalder said road and rail transport were critical links in the supply chains for moving freight in WA.

Through the Government's Grain Freight Improvement Program, $163 million was spent on commercially viable Tier 1 and 2 rail lines and $118 million has been allocated to State and local government road upgrades in Tier 3 areas, he said.

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