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CME Welcomes Regional Freight Plan

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CME) welcomes today’s release of the Regional Freight Transport Network Plan by the Barnett Government.

CME supports a strategic approach to future road, rail and port infrastructure development and upgrades. For a number of years CME has highlighted the need for a state infrastructure plan from government.

“While the plan does not take into account energy or water, CME believes it is a step in the right direction. CME considers the government should now, in consultation with industry, develop a plan for the state’s water and energy needs, said CME Chief Executive Reg Howard-Smith.

The Plan sets out the government’s main roles in the development of the regional freight transport network – planning and protecting the network, managing the network, building and maintaining the road network, and facilitating and selectively investing in strategic rail and port network projects.

While, the Plan does not commit government funding for the network, it highlights the opportunity to partner with the private sector to deliver infrastructure particularly in relation to port and rail network development.

“CME would urge the government to begin the vital process of fully implementing the Plan,” said Mr Howard-Smith.

CME’s 2013 State Growth Outlook highlighted the transition underway in the resource sector from a construction to production or operational phase. This change requires a strategic look at the infrastructure requirements of the sector and examination of how government can support future growth.

The 2013 State Growth Outlook also highlighted particular infrastructure challenges faced by the sector including; bulk mineral export facilities operating at capacity, high wide load transportation, and protection of rail corridors.

CME looks forward to working with the government to align industry and government priorities and importantly implementation timeframes.