Press Release

Rick_wilson_0409

NEW THINKING NEEDED ON GRAIN FREIGHT - PGA

2009-04-23

PGA Western Graingrowers has debunked claims that it is supporting the new Grain on Rail campaign with calls for a major rethink of WA’s grain freight problems.

 

WGG Chairman Rick Wilson said newspaper reports quoting Westnet Rail General Manager Paul Larsen claiming PGA support for the Grain on Rail campaign were untrue.

 

“At no stage has PGA committed to this campaign because our support is for a far more realistic and effective solution to WA’s grain freight problems,” Mr Wilson said.

 

“Like the general public, PGA has never been privy to many of the real facts and anomalies to this taxpayer/grower-funded ‘benefit’ in favour of Westnet Rail, ARG and CBH.”

 

“We believe there are far better solutions to the grain freight problem, services like new standard gauge links that will enable train turnarounds of 20 hours or less between regional storages and ports such as Narrogin and Albany, with upgraded road services feeding into them.”

 

“The provision of better roads with more passing lanes to service these new lines would not only vastly improve efficiency, but also public road safety and offer major benefits for non-grain freight and traffic.”

 

Mr Wilson said the PGA had made its views known to the Federal and State Governments and this was probably why the Grain on Rail campaigners were keen to implicate the PGA.

 

He said it was mischievous of the group to mount a campaign based on warning city people of the dangers of grain trucks on country roads.

 

“The reality is not only that the 1920’s rail system they are trying to prop up is hopelessly inefficient, misdirected and out-of-date, but also that its ongoing neglect by Westnet Rail, ARG and CBH has finally caught up because of the new pressures of a deregulated grain market.”

 

“PGA does not want to see more grower investment directed at enhancing former monopolies.”

 

“The clear need is for new least-cost-pathways for all freight services that also support WA’s developing role as a major supplier of grain to the world.”

 

“Fortunately we believe this is a vision shared by the State and Federal Governments.”

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