Aim to double rail freight
TRANSPORT Minister Dean Nalder says the State Government aims to double its movement of freight by rail, but roads are very much here to stay.
Perth leads the country with 14.2 per cent of freight shifted on rail, about 1 per cent more than Sydney and Melbourne and about 9 per cent more than Brisbane.
Mr Nalder said his department aimed to lift that to 30 per cent.
“My office had a conversation with (US-based transportation) company Watco … and they indicated to us if we were to able to achieve 30 per cent we would be best practice, which suggests a minimum of 70 per cent of our freight would need to move by road,” he said.
Mr Nalder backed up his point by referring to a recent trip to Singapore, a country that takes in 4-5 million domestic containers through its port each year.
Mr Nalder said Singapore moved 100 per cent of its freight by truck because it was more efficient.
“I’m not saying ultimately that’s what we want to do – we have an aspiration to shift as much as 30 per cent by rail and we’re continuing to work on that,” he said.
“In the past 12 months we’ve extended the spur at Fremantle, we’re creating bypasses on the rail itself so we can get more traffic onto the rail and we will continue to work at that.”