Industry and the public have been invited to have their say on the draft South West Supply Chain (SWSC) Strategy which will identify future road, rail, air and port infrastructure requirements in the South West region for the next 10-15 years.
The South West region plays an important role in Western Australia’s economy handling large volumes of bulk imports and exports associated with mining, agriculture and forestry.
The SWSC Strategy will have six key objectives:
- Connected and continuous supply chains
- Seamless modal integration
- Optimised infrastructure and supportive policy
- Improved transport efficiency
- Improved road safety
- Regional economic growth
It will focus on the key freight supply chains of alumina/bauxite, lithium, caustic soda, timber, grain, agribusiness, mineral sands, copper concentrate and container freight that originate or terminate in the South West region.
The draft SWSC Strategy identifies several key challenges and proposes key responses to them. Two examples of such include:
That the co-ordination and prioritisation of available infrastructure funding remains a significant challenge for local and state governments and the private sector.
A proposed response is to identify, prioritise and coordinate infrastructure improvements across government and the private sector.
A possible initiative for how this could occur is to work with Infrastructure WA, state agencies and local governments, to establish strategic network priorities and develop sustainable funding options for infrastructure.
Another key challenge identified is that the South West freight rail network is approaching operational capacity at strategic locations. It is anticipated that further growth in demand will be difficult to accommodate without key investment along the corridor.
A proposed response is for rail infrastructure managers to collaborate on business cases for corridor update works.
A number of possible initiatives for how this could occur are suggested in the draft SWSC Strategy, such as: revising rail connections within Bunbury Port as part of a redesign of road and rail access arrangements, and recommissioning the Picton-Greenbushes rail line.
The recommendations and initiatives in the draft SWSC Strategy are the result of research, supply chain mapping and stakeholder consultation and are based on current network constraints and anticipated future freight volumes generated in the South-West region.
Bunbury MLA Don Punch said: “Comprehensive planning for future transport and supply chain needs is vital if we are to maintain our competitive advantages for new and existing industry in the South-West region.”
“This strategic planning will support the long term economic growth of our region, encourage investment and ensure there is a steady growth in the jobs available to our community,” he said.
“We know we need to attract new industries, like advanced manufacturing, to our region to create economic and employment opportunities and the only way we can achieve that is to ensure the infrastructure needed by industry to succeed is readily available.”
Comments on the draft South West Supply Chain Strategy close on Friday August 21 and can be provided at www.mysaytransport.wa.gov.au/southwestsupplychainstrategy