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Western Australia's freight rail network will be the subject of an inquiry by the State Economics and Industry Standing Committee.
The Committee will consider whether the current lease arrangements and management of the network comprising of tier one, two and three lines, facilitate or hamper state development.
Brookfield Rail currently holds a 50-year lease with the State Government to operate the network.
Lines are organised into tiers according to the volume of traffic they receive and the current repair, with tier three lines the least used and in the poorest condition.
Committee Chair Ian Blayney says the Committee received a number of private briefings and is hoping to hold public hearings through the course of the inquiry.
He says the independent committee decided to look at the issue following problems with tier two lines during harvest last year.
"It is something we have been keeping an eye on and certainly when people started asking questions about a tier two line, then sort of red lights went off," he said.
CBH welcomes inquiry
The state's main grain handler the CBH Group is heartened by the committee's decision to launch an inquiry.
CBH is particularly interested in the future of the tier three rail lines which transport grain from country receival sites to port.
CBH and Brookfield have been negotiating for months to find a workable solution for the future of tier three lines and the handler recently requested the Economic Regulation Authority (ERA) to assist with those negotiations.
While general manager of operations at the CBH Group, David Capper, has welcomed the move he doesn't anticipate the inquiry will be an opportunity to scrutinise the contract between Brookfield and the State Government.
"I think if we are pinning on that being an outcome of the inquiry we might be setting ourselves up for disappointment," he said.
This article first appeared on www.abc.net.au
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