Pam Beggs

Pam Beggs

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    Response to Opposition comments on transport

    2/07/1992 12:00 AM
     
     
    Transport Minister Pam Beggs today said it was clear the Liberal Party did not understand the realities of transport reforms implemented in the past few years.
     
    "Liberal Paul Omodei is obviously at odds with his own party's policies when it comes to free enterprise or freedom of choice in the transport sector," Mrs Beggs said.
     
    "He does not understand that in response to demands from the rural community, and in particular the farm sector, nearly all freight in Western Australia is now deregulated.
     
    "This means transport service users in country areas now have a choice when it comes to transporting goods.
     
    "Consequently, this freedom of choice will have an impact on Westrail's services to centres such as Albany. But the reality is the choice of transport mode rests with the customer.
     
    "Clearly if there is a strong demand for a rail service for general goods, then Westrail will provide it.
     
    "But the existing rail freight service to Albany carries fewer than 100 tonnes a week. Therefore any shift to road transport would have a negligible impact on the road system, contrary to what Mr Omodei may claim."
     
    Mrs Beggs said it would be financially irresponsible for Westrail to pursue loss-making activities when the private road transport sector could do the task more efficiently.
     
    "Mr Omodei also should be reminded that it was the Liberal Party back in 1982 that deregulated general freight traffic," she said.
     
    "But it stopped there. It took this Government to introduce a comprehensive plan of deregulation and have it successfully implemented.
     
    "His comments are just another example of the Back to the '60s mentality of his party."