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RAIL giant Genesee & Wyoming Australia is set to close two commercial rail lines in SA’s southeast, says the State Opposition.
Liberal Member for Chaffey, Tim Whetstone today told State Parliament that Genesee & Wyoming Australia will close two rail lines in his electorate.
“I have met with Genesee & Wyoming and, sadly, they have indicated to me that the two lines from Tookyerta (which is at Loxton) down to Tailem Bend and the rail line from Pinnaroo to Tailem Bend will close before the end of the year,” he said.
“This is a sad indictment on South Australia because I know over the last 50 years that South Australia was the pride of rail on the national stage yet, today, we look at the impending closure of these two commercial lines, and there is talk that others in the state are going to be closed.”
Mr. Whetstone said the two lines were important commercial agricultural rail lines and their closure would impact significantly on roads and the viability of bulk freight.
“Again, that will see more and more freight being put on the roads, and it is going to be put on two particular highways that are of real concern: the Karoonda Highway, which is a road essentially from Loxton down to Tailem Bend or Murray Bridge; and also the Pinnaroo to Tailem Bend highway,” he told Parliament.
A Genesee & Wyoming Australia spokesman said the company had a current agreement in place with Viterra for the movement of grain on rail in the Murray–Mallee region.
“Planning for future operations is ongoing,” he said.
Transport Minister Stephen Mullighan said no decision had been made by Genesee & Wyoming Australia to close rail lines in the State’s southeast.
Mr Mullighan said the company was currently in negotiations with Viterra.
Mr Mullighan said Mr Whetstone was well aware the negotiations were ongoing.
“His comments today don’t help those negotiations,” he said.
This article first appeared on www.adelaidenow.com.au
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