Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development Warren Truss and State Transport Minister Troy Buswell made the announcement on Wednesday, with the contract set to extend the North Quay Rail Terminal.
Mr Truss said the expansion would help to reduce port-related truck traffic to Fremantle Port through the increase of rail capacity.
‘It is designed to increase capacity, supply chain efficiency and productivity by extending the existing rail terminal from 400 metres to 690 metres,’ he said.
‘In turn this will improve access for container transfer and enable shorter turnaround times, making rail more competitive as a means of transporting containers to and from this busy port.’
Fremantle Road2Rail spokes-person Barry Healy said the announcement demonstrated the case they had been making for years that rail infrastructure was cheaper and more efficient than building roads and using trucks.
‘The $31 million that will be spent on this rail improvement is much lower than the cost of the proposed widening of High Street and a fraction of the cost of bulldozing the Beeliar Wetlands,’ he said.
‘This announcement is very welcome and we look forward to Mr Buswell building on this initiative by getting the majority of containers going to and from Fremantle Port on to rail.’
Fremantle MLA Simone McGurk said it was good rail infrastructure around Fremantle Port was being improved.
‘The State Government will rely on improvements to improve their record of freight on rail.’