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May 4, 2022

Western Australia allocates $141.9m for rail freight infrastructure

The four rail projects under the ASCI programme will help better connect crucial agricultural supply chains in Western Australia.

Western Australia has secured A$200m ($141.9m) in government funding for its regional rail freight network.

The financing includes A$160m ($113.5m) from Commonwealth as well as $40m from the State for four projects.

It has been made under the first package of the Agricultural Supply Chain Improvement (ASCI) programme.

An amount of A$22m ($15.6m) will be used for four rail siding extensions for CBH grain bins at Moora, Brookton, and Cranbrook as well as Broomehill.

With an investment of A$46m ($32.6m), seven additional grain rail siding upgrades will be carried out at Avon, Kellerberrin, Dowerin, Konnongorring, Ballidu, Mingenew, and Perenjori North.

Midland Line Main Line up-gradation from 16 Tonne Axle Loading (TAL) to 19 TAL between Carnamah and Mingenew will be conducted with an investment of A$60m (42.5m).

Around 400,000 tonnes of grain per annum are expected to be carried through this section. The upgrade will help improve operational efficiency and reduce freight cost savings for all grain growers delivering to bins on selected line sections.

To serve grain and other potential customers in the Narrogin-Wickepin area through a tier three line, the recommissioning of the Narrogin-Kulin rail line and associated works in the Southern Wheatbelt region with an investment of A$72m (51.1m).

This rail freight service is also expected to be beneficial for the new Western Australian Kaolin clay mine, located near Wickepin, which aims to boost production in the coming years.

Meanwhile, the planning and design phase of the projects will begin now, with their completion expected in 2025.

Western Australia transport minister Rita Saffioti said: “The recent record harvest of 24 million tonnes shows that we need to continue to invest in road and rail to provide an increasingly efficient transport network.

“The ASCI rail project funding, closely aligned with CBH’s train loading investments, will deliver freight cost savings and grain price benefits each year to grain growers throughout the agricultural region.”

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