It takes two to carry this: over THREE THOUSAND SW residents call for freight on rail!
As recently as a few weeks ago, Diane was hopeful of gathering a thousand (or more) signatures on a petition to parliament to reopen the railway line between Bunbury and Greenbushes – keeping in mind that WA Parliament does not accept anything other than hand-written, physical copies of petitions.
Well, thanks to the incredible efforts of the principal petitioner, Therese Dignam (pictured above), Diane is proud to announce that today in Parliament she tabled a petition on behalf of concerned members of the South West community containing 3,334 signatures.
For a physical petition spanning a large area, this is a significant show of public support and Diane thanks Therese for her substantial efforts – she even made the trip from the South West to Parliament via train.
“I love trains” was how Diane began her reading in of the petition – and clearly, so do so many others in the South West community.
Diane hopes this will be the first step as The Greens (WA) and South West constituents call on the McGowan Government to:
- Increase the safety of road users;
- Reduce noise pollution, air pollution and carbon emissions;
- Reduce maintenance and associated costs
- Reduce heavy traffic passing through Balingup, Mullalyup, Kirup, Donnybrook and Boyanup towns;
- Retain the aesthetic values and quality of life in Balingup, Mullalyup, Kirup, Donnybrook and Boyanup towns for local residents, visitors and tourists; and
- Allow for further rail freight movements of products in other industries.
Without rail freight, truck movements on South West roads are set to increase sharply, contributing to wear and tear as well as greater safety risks, with the South West expected to also see increased mining activity as many of the minerals needed for the technology sector are found in the region.
The lithium mining activity in the region, which of course creates new jobs, brings additional families and associated businesses to the region, adding to the growing pressure on the roads.
With renewed calls from the blue side of politics to invest in contentious road infrastructure projects such as the Perth Freight Link, Diane anticipates seeing more problems developing into the future that will require the need to harness alternatives — including getting freight in the South West back on rail.