- Groundbreaking ceremony in Brookton marks milestone for $200 million Agricultural Supply Chain Improvement (ASCI) Program
- Brookton first of 11 rail siding upgrades to maximise grain tonnage delivered to ports
- $68 million allocated to the upgrades, complemented by CBH investment
Site works have begun at the Wheatbelt town of Brookton on the first of 11 rail siding upgrades to optimise the safe and efficient transport of the State's bumper grain harvests to domestic and international markets.
The upgrade is part of Package 1 of the $200 million Agricultural Supply Chain Improvement (ASCI) Program, jointly funded by the State and Commonwealth Governments.
Constructed by Western Australian company Multiplant, the Brookton rail siding extension will connect to the Co-operative Bulk Handling (CBH) grain bin, allowing longer trains to load grain adjacent to the Great Southern Line without causing congestion on the main line.
To complement the Government funding and further improve grain handling and loading, CBH will also invest in rapid loading bins and elevators at all 11 rail siding upgrade sites.
These sites include Broomehill, which will be the next to begin construction in March, followed by Moora and Cranbrook. The seven remaining sites of Avon (Meenaar), Kellerberrin, Dowerin, Konnongorring, Ballidu, Mingenew and Perenjori North are expected to break ground during 2024.
ASCI Package 1 funds focus on freight rail upgrades in the Wheatbelt, Mid-West, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions.
In addition to allocating $68 million for 11 rail siding upgrades, $60 million has been allocated to upgrade the main Midland Rail Line between Carnamah and Mingenew, and $72 million for investigation and recommissioning of rail lines in the Narrogin-Wickepin-Kulin area.
Comments attributed to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"Western Australia's agricultural products contribute approximately $8 billion annually to the WA economy and are sold to more than 30 countries around the world.
"With WA's recent run of record-breaking grain harvests, it's more important than ever to optimise the efficiency of our agricultural freight transport supply chains to manage the increase in product.
"As well as an economic boost, the ability to transport more grain by rail will improve community safety and decrease environmental emissions and road maintenance, by reducing the need for road freight."
Comments attributed to Agriculture and Food Minister Jackie Jarvis:
"The Brookton rail siding extension, combined with CBH's new rapid loading infrastructure, will maximise value for WA growers, getting more tonnes to port and meeting the international demand for our grain to capture early shipping price premiums.
"In recent years, we've seen record-breaking grain harvests, and while our supply chains have stood up to the huge level of demand, we need to keep investing in projects that will support greater capacity in the future."
Minister's office - 6552 5500