Truck congestion to Fremantle Port will be reduced following the McGowan Government’s increase to the freight on rail subsidy in the 2017-18 State Budget.

An allocation of $19.4 million over four years – equating to an additional $9.8 million – will enable the container rail subsidy to increase from $30 to $50 per Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit.The higher subsidy provides a financial incentive to put more container movements on the port rail service, thereby reducing truck movements on roads leading to Fremantle.

It is envisaged the subsidy increase will assist in growing the rail mode share towards 20 per cent – an increase of about five per cent.The rail strategy currently removes 70,000 to 100,000 one-way truck movements from metropolitan roads every year. Increasing the rail share for container haulage is part of the McGowan Government’s integrated plan for freight and trade in Western Australia, which also includes:

  • Planning for an Outer Harbour in the long term, and appropriate transition arrangements;
  • Facilitating further development of the rail supply chain, including intermodal facilities to minimise truck movements on Perth roads; and
  • Upgrading road links to ease congestion to Fremantle Port.

These initiatives will improve efficiencies at the Inner Harbour so it can accommodate trade growth until additional port facilities are viable.

“The Government is committed to getting more trucks off Fremantle roads and onto rail. WA Labor did this when we were last in Government and now we’re doing it again. It’s a shame that over the past eight years, the previous Liberal-National Government allowed the proportion of freight on rail to fall back into the doldrums” said State Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said, “Rail is playing a significant role in achieving greater efficiency in Fremantle Port’s supply chain while reducing the impacts of truck traffic on the community.”It’s pleasing to see the integrated plan for freight and trade in WA coming together, which will help drive economic growth and jobs for years to come.”