GrainCorp has welcomed a commitment by the Victorian State Government to reduce grain rail access fees for the next two years.
As announced yesterday, the Victorian Premier, John Brumby, has promised to halve current access fees for both domestic and export grain, bringing them in line with current ARTC* rates.
Managing director, Tom Keene, said that GrainCorp welcomed any proposal that would make rail a more viable alternative for transporting grain, given the state of the track and Asciano’s announcement of its intention to withdraw its rail services.
“GrainCorp has been in discussion with the Victorian Government since June 2007 working to solve the two-pronged problem of poor infrastructure and high access fees. “Reducing the rail access fees is a good first step in ensuring that we maintain a supply chain for grain growers in Victoria.
“This reduction makes rail more competitive with road, which will encourage much needed investment into trains. However there is still a long way to go to ensure reliable rail services for the 08/09 harvest.
“This is the first piece in the puzzle and we will continue to encourage the Victorian Government to commit to the grains industry through a long term reduction in access fees and maintenance of the rail network,” said Mr Keene.