Transport Minister Eric Charlton said today's opening of the $100 million CBH Metro Grain Centre at Forrestfield was a major coup for the State Government, which had initiated the relocation of grain storage away from North Fremantle in 1995.
The relocation would result in a huge reduction of truck traffic to and from the port and had created an opportunity for the Government to release for redevelopment the prime real estate of the Leighton marshalling yard.
"Redevelopment only became possible by moving the grain silos away from the port because it meant the Government's proposed $9 million ‘Direct Loop' transport corridor through the Leighton yard did not have to be built," Mr Charlton said.
"The relocation plan all started when I held an informal discussion with Co-operative Bulk Handling three years ago and the result we see today has major benefits for all Western Australians."
Mr Charlton said the Government had bought out the CBH lease at North Fremantle in January 1996 for $8 million and this had triggered a visionary project being developed on Westrail land at Forrestfield.
"The benefits of relocation to Westrail land at Forrestfield are clear because CBH has been able to establish a world-class grain-handing complex on the tail of both standard and narrow gauge rail lines," he said.
"The new location has stimulated innovative thinking with the Metro Grain Centre forming part of a larger agricultural processing complex unique in Australia.
"The incorporation of Joe White Maltings on the site is an important example of value-adding in a grain industry which already contributes more than $2 billion to the WA economy."
Media contact: Doug Cunningham 9321 7333