Moorebank Intermodal container terminal madness a ‘high priority’:


August 13, 2012The MoorebankIntermodal Terminal (IMT) needs to be prioritized, a state report on government expenditure says.The NSW Commission of Audit Final Report, released last week, recommends the State Government give high priority to requirements emerging for Port Botany, Moorebank and the M5 expansion.

“It is clear that the transport precinct of Port Botany, Kingsford Smith Airport and the M5 must get priority attention,” the report says.

“This is not simply a NSW issue; it is of great importance to Australia.”

According to the report, the 2012-13 Budget commits $27.7 billion to 2014-15 on transport infrastructure – around 40 percent of the state’s total infrastructure budget for this period.

The report was released by NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and aims to outline ways to improve public sector management.

The government established the Commission of Audit last year to develop a framework for the NSW public sector.

The commission of audit was led by Dr Kerry Schott and included 132 recommendations.

In its official response to the report, the NSW Government says it is committed to working with the Commonwealth Government and the private sector to establish a Moorebank intermodal terminal.

“NSW Government is a strong advocate of building an intermodal freight terminal at Moorebank as it is an essential component of the goal to double the proportion of container freight moved by rail through NSW ports,” the response says.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has announced a board to oversee the construction of the Moorebank intermodal terminal is expected to be appointed by the end of the year.

The Federal Government says the process to appoint the board has started and that executive search firm Hudson Global Resources has been given the job of identifying suitable candidates.

The board will oversee the remediation of the site for the terminal, which will be built on land which currently houses the Department of Defence’s School of Military Engineering. The board will also manage the tender process to select a company or consortium to design, build and operate the new facility.

Although there is strong community opposition to the terminal, Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says it will generate $10 billion in economic benefits, take 1.2 million trucks a year off Sydney’s roads and inject $135 million annually into western Sydney’s economy.

“Over the longer term, this facility has the potential to transform the movement of freight along the entire east coast,” he says.

Albanese says there has been strong interest from the private sector in building and operating the terminal, with 40 major national and international freight and logistics companies attending briefing sessions in recent months.

Subject to planning and environmental approvals, the facility is expected to open in 2017. It is intended to improve freight container capacity and allow rail to transfer goods through Sydney.

The government says the terminal is needed to accommodate the growth in container volumes and to prevent traffic gridlock in Sydney around its port and on its roads. A port shuttle will operate when the terminal opens, with plans for an interstate terminal to be built in 2029 or sooner based on demand.

An environmental impact statement on the Moorebank terminal is due to be released at the end of 2012 or early next year.

About Jim McGoldrick

An Alliance of Residents and Professionals fighting for justice in Australia. Working for people not political parties
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