CHANGES to the Western Australian Rail Access Regime could see more freight moved by rail, according to the state government.

The changes, part of the new Railways (Access) Code 2023, aim to help seed up access negotiations and ensure railway access arrangements are fair.

The WA government believes reform would put more freight on rail, reduce inefficient duplication of infrastructure and provide more efficient options for transporting commodities.

One anticipated outcome is a pathway for parties to access pre-determined privately-owned railways if negotiations are unsuccessful.

Another is timely and cost-effective transport for businesses moving products around the state.

“These are important changes to our Rail Access Regime, making it quicker and easier to access railways and supporting producers that need to get their goods to markets,” WA treasurer Rita Saffioti said.

“The reforms include a new valuation methodology that better reflects the condition of railways, along with improved transparency and information requirements to assist negotiations.

“These reforms will encourage greater use of the rail network and support the efficient movement of freight across the State to support exports, new investment and jobs.”

The government said the new code follows extensive consultation with access seekers, railway owners and government agencies over a number of years.

Features of the reforms include  changing the asset valuation method, interim access agreements, requiring more information to be published and adding timeframes and standardising some requirements.