The State Government today tabled its response to the Economic and Industry Standing Committee Report, The Management of Western Australia's Freight Rail network.
Transport Minister Dean Nalder 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.
"On February 11, 2015, a determination was made by an arbitrator under the Railways (Access) Code 2000 in relation to Co-operative Bulk Handling Limited's (CBH) proposal to access the Tier 3 and Miling grain freight lines operated by Brookfield Rail," Mr Nalder said.
"Resolution of the arbitration has cleared the way for CBH to negotiate with Brookfield Rail about the terms for access to the grain network. The Railways (Access) Code 2000 allows for a 90-day negotiation period between the parties which will commence in March.
"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."
The Minister said both road and rail transport were critical links in the supply chains for moving freight in Western Australia.
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.
"The purpose of this program was to encourage the funnelling of grain to viable rail lines for rail transfer to port and to enhance road safety for local communities," Mr Nalder said.
Main Roads undertakes a weekly assessment of CBH haulage roads used to transport grain.
Record levels of grain were successfully transported during the 2014-15 grain season, despite Tier 3 rail lines not being operational. Record levels of grain were transported by rail with no apparent increase in trucks in the Perth metropolitan region as a result.
Minister's office - 6552 6100