Grain transport and supply chain infrastructure

Oct 28, 2016

Eyre Peninsula Supply Chain infrastructure

The issue

The Eyre Peninsula is facing significant change in grain transport and supply chain infrastructure. Some of these include:

  • Review of the current rail agreement between Viterra and GWS – there are only two harvest seasons remaining for the current rail transport arrangement.
  • Proposals for alternate port projects: Lucky Bay, Cape Hardy, Port Bonython, and Thevenard.

These projects will result in potential significant investment requests to government and other stakeholders for the port infrastructure and the supporting road and rail infrastructure.

In addition, these competitive ports will introduce a new grain transport dynamic including impacts on the current rail network viability that needs to be further explored.

GPSA’s position

GPSA believes that the tripartisan recommendation determined from the parliamentary select committee into grain handling to undertake an Essential Services Commission of SA review into the grain supply chain detailed above is critical to pursue these projects in a strategic and efficient manner.

This review will provide an independent foundation for the planning of the Eyre Peninsula infrastructure investment and for the state as a whole. Government needs this independent information to inform the allocation of funds and prioritisation of projects.

GPSA requires a position on the relevant working parties to progress these projects. Grain producers are a significant part of the transport and supply chain industry having investment levels upwards of $120 - $150 million in grain handling and transport infrastructure on Eyre Peninsula alone. Grain Producers need representation along with the other stakeholders in determining the future of logistics infrastructure.

Higher Productivity Transport Combinations

The issue

Grain production in South Australia historically is grown in relatively close proximity to the coast and therefore transport to the state’s port network is over short distances. Compared to other grain producing regions both interstate and internationally, South Australia’s grain transport to port uses a combination of road and rail.

To promote higher productivity of the grain transport task, access to the most efficient road transport combinations is required. For example, with the closure of the Mallee railway line, road train access from Pinnaroo and Loxton to Tailem Bend would see productivity gains and less truck movements on these highways.

GPSA’s position

GPSA Is seeking relevant authorities to grant higher mass combinations such as road trains and A-B double access on strategic grain routes in South Australia.

Figure 1. Estimated Settlement Fees 2006 – 2015 & Estimated Settlement Fees x Exported Crop, South Australia

Source: PIRSA Crop Report, Viterra Storage and Handling Charges Schedule A.

All policy points