Western Australia is rich in exports that require a simple, safe yet effective transport logistics system to get the product to market. Without an ability to get our minerals, grain, livestock and export hay to port, efficiently, WA cannot compete on the world stage. Given a huge reliance on exports, this equals lower economic prosperity.
‘From a region that generates agricultural and mining exports of nearly $200 billion per year, and country shires are closing their swimming pool just to fund a patch up of a miniscule amount of their network for a year or two’
More importantly, to note, the WA Wheatbelt is on a per-capita basis, the most dangerous area in Australia with over 200 deaths and very serious accidents per 100,000 population per year.
West Australians currently live with:
- An outdated grain-on-rail system that puts more trucks on road, instead of using a safer, less intrusive rail system.
- Funding arrangements for regional road and bridge maintenance so low that we are not even keeping infrastructure at ‘care and maintenance level’. In some local shire areas, they’d have to spend 120% of their total rate revenue just to stop road conditions getting worse.
- Hundreds of kilometres of dangerous regional road ‘shoulders’ that have cars, trucks and school buses drop into ruts up to 10 cm deep, at speed, causing rollovers, crashes and horrendous injuries.
- Bureaucratic anomalies and archaic regulations in licencing and accreditation that has not kept pace with farm modernisation, adding $10-30,000 in licence fees to farmers who hardly put their trucks and trailers on the road.
- A State Government who funds modern city-centric road and rail projects but who will not ensure regional Western Australians even have a well-maintained ‘fit for purpose’ road network.