Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Aboriginal Affairs; Lands

    Rail access reforms full steam ahead

    5/02/2020 6:00 AM
    • McGowan Government approves changes to WA's Rail Access Regime, following extensive consultation
    • Proposed changes to ensure the Regime works more effectively, speed up negotiations and assist businesses to transport their products across the State
    • Regulatory changes to be drafted in consultation with stakeholders

    The McGowan Government has approved significant changes to Western Australia's Rail Access Regime to make it more effective, speed up access negotiations and ensure railway access arrangements are fair for all parties.


    The Western Australian Rail Access Regime (the Regime) provides a regulated pathway for parties to gain access to pre-determined privately-owned railways.


    The State Government is committed to making sure the Regime works effectively so that Western Australian businesses can transport their products around the State in a timely and cost-effective manner, and that railway owners have enough incentive to invest in their railway networks. 


    The State Government, through the Department of Treasury, has been consulting extensively with stakeholders over the past 24 months to develop changes to the Regime that will make it a more effective alternative when commercial negotiations stall.


    The approved changes will particularly benefit regional areas. Grain growing areas are expected to benefit from obtaining agreements to transport grain on rail faster and, potentially, at a lower price. Other regional areas, where there may be new mining projects for example, will also benefit from these projects experiencing less delays in accessing railways. 


    The reforms to the Regime will achieve this by:

    • ensuring access prices are fair for access seekers and railway owners (by changing the asset valuation method and requiring published standing offers);
    • providing better protection from unfair discrimination;
    • better acknowledging foundation customers;
    • increasing transparency; and
    • making the regulatory process more efficient (by adding timeframes, introducing information provision obligations and standardising some requirements).

    The State Government will now commence drafting regulatory changes to the Railways (Access) Code 2000 to affect the approved reforms. Stakeholders will continue to be consulted throughout this process.


    Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt:


    "The McGowan Government has agreed to a series of important reforms to the State's Rail Access Regime, which will make attaining access to railways easier and quicker, supporting regional communities.


    "The reforms include a new valuation methodology which better reflects the conditions of railways, along with improved transparency and information requirements to assist negotiations.


    "These reforms will encourage greater use of the rail network and support the efficient movement of freight across the State to support exports, regional businesses and jobs."


    Treasurer's office - 6552 5900