A decision by Carnarvon Transport to cease trading has provided the impetus for freight services in the Gascoyne to be opened up to full competition, Transport Minister Eric Charlton said today.
Mr Charlton said Carnarvon was one of only two areas in Western Australia still operating under a restrictive franchising arrangement.
"Completing the deregulation process will benefit local producers and the local community," he said.
"Increased competition will encourage freight companies to include Carnarvon in their routes and increase the possibility of backloading freight from the North-West.
"Deregulation of freight transport in other areas has lowered rates and improved services. For example, since grain transport was deregulated, grain freight rates have more than halved."
Mr Charlton said Wesfarmers Transport had advised that the six sub-contractors previously providing services to Carnarvon Transport would be joining Wesfarmers.
"Therefore, there is not likely to be any loss of local employment in the short term and I am confident increased competition will soon lead to more jobs," he said.
"The commercial goods vehicle licences issued under the Transport Co-ordination Act since the 1950s clearly restrict competition and are inappropriate in the light of the State Government's commitment to the national Competition Principles Agreement.
"I believe there is a groundswell of public support for deregulating freight services in and out of Carnarvon.
"After deregulation the trading environment for freight operators, including Wesfarmers would be in line with the rest of WA.
"It appears to be a win-win situation that will benefit business and the Gascoyne community."
Media contact: Doug Cunningham (08) 9321 7333