WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group said on Sept. 1 that it welcomes the announcement by the State Transport Minister Troy Buswell of a possible one-year extension of the operational life of selected Tier 3 rail lines.

CBH Group General Manager of Operations Colin Tutt said with an expected record breaking harvest this year, translating to an anticipated 2 million tonnes of grain to be transported along Tier 3 lines the announcement is timely and appreciated.

“We are pleased Buswell and the state government have considered the upcoming bumper harvest and the impact the closure of Tier 3 rail lines will have on the number of heavy vehicles on the road network that has not yet been upgraded,” Tutt said.

“It would be a sensible decision on the part of the minister to reactivate the Tier 3 rail lines to protect the road network from probable costly damage and also to better manage the 2011-12 grain harvest.”

Tutt said the challenge now is for CBH and growers to utilize those lines and demonstrate their support for their continuing operation.

“We are glad to have the opportunity to demonstrate how the Tier 3 lines can be used efficiently and effectively and by mid-2012 CBH will have new rolling stock and above rail operations in place which will provide improved efficiencies and cost competitiveness across the grain rail network including of course the Tier 3,” Tutt said.

Tutt said CBH looks forward to working through the details with the Department of Transport to ensure the rail lines do re-open and working with Brookfield Rail in managing the reintegration of the lines ready for harvest.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure these lines are operational for the upcoming harvest and working to provide a safer and more efficient system for our growers to transport their grain to port,” he said.