The Secretary of the federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport, Mike Mrdak, says the large slice of land is ideal to build the terminal and that the nearby area owned by Qube Logistics should be a part of future plans.
“Ultimately, from our portfolio’s perspective, we would like to see that total precinct – both the Qube area and the Moorebank School of Military Engineering – become available and protected and planned for a future intermodal freight zone,” Mrdak says.
“We want to look at the whole precinct and where there are opportunities. The Qube Logistics land is one parcel of land in that whole precinct. What we see, working with NSW, is that whole precinct being developed for intermodal freight facilities.”
Mrdak says there are limited opportunities in Sydney to build long-term freight hubs and that Moorebank is large enough to accommodate a port shuttle, warehousing, freight transfer facilities and, in the future, interstate trains.
The Federal Government plans to turn the site into an interstate terminal after 2029.
“Moorebank is probably the last opportunity for Sydney to have a well-placed, large intermodal facility,” Mrdak says.
He made the comments during a Senate estimates hearing this week where he dismissed the proposal from Qube to use its 83ha site to build and run the terminal.
“The private sector proposal by Qube Logistics is only for a port shuttle servicing the port of Botany and then for distribution throughout the Sydney region,” Mrdak says.
“It is not designed, nor is it intended to be able, to cater for larger interstate trains or a larger freight break-up and build-up facility.”
Mrdak says the 220ha site provides greater capacity and the ability to cater to a variety of tasks.
He says Defence will over the next 18 months move off the site to allow development to begin. The government estimates the terminal will deliver $10 billion in benefits over 30 years and reduce road congestion by shifting more freight by rail.
A tendering process will begin next year to have the private sector build and run the terminal. A government business enterprise will manage the process and act as a landlord of the site.