27/08/2008 - 15:25

Govt. commits $20m for SW rail upgrade

27/08/2008 - 15:25

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The state government has committed $20 million to upgrading the rail link between Greenbushes and Bunbury port in an effort to move the transportation of timber logs from road onto rail.

The state government has committed $20 million to upgrading the rail link between Greenbushes and Bunbury port in an effort to move the transportation of timber logs from road onto rail.

The funding comes after three years of negotiations between the timber industry, WestNet Rail and Australian Rail Group and the government on how to make the transport of plantation timber logs by rail economically viable.

The $20 million will cover the cost of capital works required to upgrade the 80 kilometre stretch of track and associated infrastructure at both ends.

WA Plantation Resources general manager and head of the industry negotiation group, Ian Telfer, said the result had come from a combined commitment from the four major timber companies, rail service providers and the government.

The commitment from the timber companies, including WAPRES, Hansol, Great Southern and ITC, could see an average volume of about 500,000 tonnes of logs transported on the upgraded rail link.

"No one company had the timber volumes to make this workable on their own," Mr Telfer said.

Once the track is operational, it is estimated that the number of daily road movements transporting logs between Greenbushes and Bunbury port would, on average, be cut in half.

 

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