The West

Closure prompts extra trucks fear
South Metropolitan MLA Lynn MacLaren says Tier 3 railway line closures will lead to more trucks on Rockingham and Kwinana roads.

Fears have been raised that Kwinana and Rockingham roads will be flooded with trucks in the wake of a State Government decision to close selected railway lines in the Wheatbelt.

Transport Minister Troy Buswell last week rejected a parliamentary recommendation to preserve the Tier 3 lines, responsible for helping transport much of the State’s grain supply to port.

South Metropolitan MLC Lynn MacLaren said the decision would mean thousands of additional trucks movements on the roads, as grain processor CBH sought alternative transport to its Kwinana port.

‘‘We think they (State Government) have failed not just the farmers, but also the people who live in and around Kwinana and Rockingham,’’ she said.

‘‘The evidence before the committee is that several thousand more truck movements a year would result — there’s enough trucks already on those roads.’’

A Legislative Council report released in June recommended the lines be kept open until the end of 2014 to allow CBH to assess their value.

Mr Buswell rejected the recommendation, instead proposing an $18 million upgrade of local and State roads.

A CBH spokesman said it remained committed to transporting grain via rail.

‘‘The cooperative remains committed to using the Tier 3 lines if they are available for use and are continuing to work with Brookfield Rail on appropriate access and performance arrangements for all rail lines, including Tier 3.’’

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams disagreed with Ms MacLaren saying the effect would be ‘‘negligible’’.

‘‘The Town would welcome any quality research data that could clarify with more precision any road safety, residential amenity, or road maintenance impacts,’’ she said. ‘‘This detail would provide valuable information and assist the Town to better direct its communications.’’

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