Regional Development Australia - Wheatbelt
An Australian Government Initiative

RDA Wheatbelt Submission National Freight Inquiry

RDA Wheatbelt has completed a submission to the Inquiry into National Freight and Supply Chain Priorities. This 44 page document has been lodged ‘in confidence’ at the request of contributors. State departments,  local Government Authorities, local transport companies and business utilising our secondary freight routes have given their valuable time and information toward this comprehensive document. The importance of this submission cannot be underestimated as one of very few avenues to get roads and priorities listed on the Federal Government’s agenda.
 
The  suggested solution is a capital investment of at least $500,000,000 to bring the secondary freight network up to a fit for purpose standard.  As this is well beyond the capacity of Local Government to fund and well beyond the capacity of existing Federal and State road funding programs that can be accessed by Local Government, it thus requires a special purpose capital injection.  
 
RDA Wheatbelt agrees with the Australian Export Grains Innovation Centre statements that: “Australian governments need to re-visit their policies regarding road and rail infrastructure and services, to ensure investments in these long-lived assets support least-cost grain paths.”  and we also agree that for the sake of international competitiveness, it is important that: “…grain farmers are medium and long term net beneficiaries from any resulting supply chain efficiencies, otherwise a shifting of costs and risks back onto grain farmers will occur.”
 
RDA Wheatbelt recommends that the Inquiry consider changes to the funding model for regional local roads that carry a significant freight task that is critical to the economic prosperity of the Country.  Regional areas, such as the Wheatbelt, that punch above their weight in their economic contribution ought to be recognised through increased awareness of the costs of maintaining global competitive positioning, and assisted to ensure that this competitive positioning is retained.
 
For further information please contact our Executive Officer Juliet Grist. juliet.grist@rdawheatbelt.com.au 
 
The full submission will be available when formally approved for distribution.