Future investment in freight infrastructure for key agricultural regions of Western Australia will benefit from the Revitalising Agricultural Region Freight (RARF) Strategy released this week according to the State Government.
The new strategy provides a plan for investment in agricultural freight supply chains that will assist in WA's economic recovery following the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the recently announced $87.5 million Wheatbelt Secondary Freight Network upgrades, the strategy will not only complement it but provide a framework and consolidate project packages that prioritise future investment in road, rail, intermodal and port infrastructure projects for the next ten to 15 years in the key agricultural regions of the Mid-West, Wheatbelt, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance.
The proposed 20 priority project packages are aimed at increasing heavy vehicle access and improving regulatory efficiency.
Feedback received on the draft RARF Strategy, which was released for public comment in June 2019, has resulted in the inclusion of a more comprehensive list of road project priorities and a more targeted list of projects on the Tier 1 and Tier 2 rail networks according to Agriculture and Food Minister Alannah MacTiernan.
"With the agricultural and food sector representing about 10 per cent of WA's economy, we need to ensure our crucial transport supply chains continue to improve, helping our key regional agricultural areas prepare for future growth and ensure we have a diverse and robust economy," she said.
"The strategy addresses the key challenges faced when transporting grain, livestock, hay, and will help improve infrastructure, freight productivity and safety on our freight supply networks, enhancing the international competitiveness of WA products."