Federal Labor members today called on the Barnett Government to match its efforts in investing in WA's grain network and to reopen Tier 3 grain lines.
The Federal Labor Government in its last term poured $135 million into the grain freight network as part of a plan that would have the WA government and industry making similar investments.
“The privatisation of the lines was a failure from the start,” said Alannah MacTiernan, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Development and Infrastructure.
“The contract was so badly drawn that the original operator was able to on-sell it for around half a billion dollars in profit without the State Government having any capacity to intervene.
“They then renegotiated the lease to remove even the modest ‘use it or you lose it’ protections giving Brookfield the right to keep lines they are not using.
“Mr Nalder’s response takes no account for the fact that farmers and local communities are now literally paying the price for the Liberal-National Government’s ineptitude.
“The Nationals have failed their constituency here - being the architects of the botched privatisation and the blockers of the use of royalties for region funds to save Tier 3 lines.”
Joel Fitzgibbon, Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said that Federal Labor had invested $135 million to keeping the lines open.
“There is no question that the State Government needs to be more proactive in protecting the interests of WA’s grain growers.
“The Barnett Government has failed on two counts. It failed to get an agreement that was in the best interests of the region and it has failed to ensure that the safety of rural roads is maintained.
“The Barnett Government needs to come to the table with a real solution for the future sustainability of the grain freight networks.”
JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
SHADOW PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE
MEMBER FOR PERTH
SHADOW MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR RURAL AFFAIRS