Grain loads derailed for coal freight
CLERMONT farmers are out of pocket as grain plays second fiddle to coal on freight trains in the Central Highlands.
AgForce Grains president Wayne Newton said Mount McLaren was a trouble hotspot, only three of the 14 promised trains in July arriving to load this year’s sorghum crop for export company Graincorp.
“The Mount McLaren depot is the issue,” Mr Newton said.
“Of those trains that didn’t arrive, they were postponed or cancelled at the last minute with a host of reasons like lack of crew, a breakdown of the locomotive and lack of slots in the rail network.”
Mr Newton said the alternative to road freight the grain to Mackay for a ship that is overdue to leave port, was an unfair expense that would be passed on to the grower.
“When they privatised the rail network we were assured by the government this wasn’t going to happen, there as going to be good service by rail to the grain network.
“The slack has to be taken up by road and like everywhere, most of the roads are in a sorry state following the summer we’ve been through.”
AgForce has called on Transport Minister Anastacia Palaszczuk to intervene.