Rail meeting organiser, Michael Bryant, "The Kurrajongs", Greenethorpe, says the government will pass the costs on to local government because at the end of the day they’ve got no alternative but to fix the roads.
CENTRAL West graingrowers are fuming, forced to pay $5 a tonne more freight as the State Government considers closing five branch lines.
Frustration ran high at last week’s Greenethorpe protest meeting, where farmers were joined by politicians and local council representatives.
The 90-strong crowd was dismayed at the prospect of many grain producers effectively being barred from using rail to get their grain to port.
The potential line closures – Koorawatha-Greenethorpe, Cowra-Koorawatha, Koorawatha-Demondrille, Ungarie-Lake Cargelligo and Nevertire-Warren – were flagged by Transport Minister, David Campbell, in November’s mini-Budget.
Michael Bryant, “The Kurrajongs”, Greenethorpe, said farmers had started to feel the effects of the possible closures about three weeks ago, when several freight companies added about $5 a tonne for off-rail grain transport.
So effectively for every 1000 tonnes of grain transported, he said farmers could be up for an extra $5000.
For more see this week's The Land.