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Rural sector dumped on

WAFarmers

THE State Government has walked away from its responsibility of funding public roads that access CBH Receival points.

It is unreasonable for grain growers to fund infrastructure that supports a $3 billion export income to the State’s economy.

We have been critical of funding cuts to rural roads for some time and the State reneging on the Shackleton-Kellerberin road upgrade, part of the planned States Grain Logistics program is another example of the lack of commitment to rural WA.

The Government is far too focused on loss-making ventures such as the Mandurah rail line, where it finds copious quantities of taxpayers’ money to fund a system that will be a long-term burden to all Western Australians and will not generate economic benefit in the future.

The Government of the day has supported the principal of funding planned Main Road WA works and takes place as part of the interface process between CBH receival points and main roads.

The departure from this principal puts in doubt some of the tenets surrounding the railway privatisation program.

We are starting to see other areas of the grain freight network falling under a ‘user pays’ principal.

The strategic planning that has taken place for the grains industry in WA is being put in jeopardy as a result of this shift.

If the ‘user pays’ principal is to become the norm, the whole process of taxation and where those funds are spent will require clarification.

With more trucks interfacing between road and CBH receival points, road safety and maintenance issues, the very issues that the Government’s road corridor was initiated to overcome, will certainly be tested.

We urge the Government to reconsider this decision and its commitment to rural Western Australia.

– Colin Nicholl

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