|Feds feel the heat on’ Moorebank plan
By Sean Muir | July 27, 2012
Community backlash threatens to overshadow private interest in the government’s proposed Moorebank Intermodal Terminal (IMT).
At least 130 public submissions have been made objecting to the terminal proposal, while about 37 major freight, logistics, construction and project finance companies reportedly registered their interest in tendering for the project at recent market briefings.
While attendance at market briefings shows private sector appetite for the project, A Moorebank Project Office spokesman says there is continuing concern about it in the community.
“There has been quite a bit of backlash – they realise that it is an important piece of infrastructure they just don’t want it in their backyard,” he says.
The spokesman says the government is working to iron out issues with the project.
“What the government has decided to do is to put the project through the state and federal planning processes because what they want to do is make sure it captures every possible planning issue – and the reason for that is that locally it has been quite a contentious issue,” the spokesman says.”
“Because the project has gone through both state and federal planning processes there are two different processes which both accept submissions.”
The spokesman says the majority of submissions were made by residents concerned about effects the terminal would have on air quality and traffic.
“All they had heard was that all these extra trucks were going to come and it was going to destroy the area,” he says.
He says most issues raised will be addressed in the in project’s Environmental Impact Statement.
The spokesman says since the government decided to go ahead with the project about two months ago, it has been able to communicate to the community more positive news, including the creation of thousands of jobs as part of the project.
“Just building the project, stage one, you are looking at about 1600 jobs,” he says.
“The second phase will create about 900 jobs.
“Then they are expecting about 1700 ongoing jobs at working the terminals and supporting the warehouses that will also be on site.
“There are some real benefits locally and I think that message is slowly getting across to the locals as well.”
A business case prepared for the government found the IMT would generate $10 billion in economic benefits, boosting productivity, slashing business costs and taking 1.2 million truck trips off Sydney’s roads each year.
The recent market briefings follow the government announcement in April that it would proceed with the Moorebank IMT as a private-sector project through a competitive tender process.