Monday, April 23, 2012

Intermodal Freight Terminal Approved as Cargo Switches from Trucks to Rail

Greens Concerned Despite Claims of Environmental Advantages
Shipping News Feature

AUSTRALIA – A joint press release from the Ministry for Infrastructure and Transport and the Ministry for Finance and Deregulation today confirmed that the giant Moorebank Intermodal Terminal project is to go ahead and, subject to planning and environmental approvals, will open for business in 2017. The freight facility will provide transhipment and warehousing at Moorebank near Liverpool and will see thousands of truck miles and shipping containers switched to rail cargo.

The Federal Government claim the construction of the intermodal terminal, on the 220 acre site of a defence facility, will link the M5 and M7 motorways to the Southern Sydney freight line and a new rail link to Sydney’s Port Botany. The Ministries estimate 1650 full time jobs will be created during construction, and a further 1,700 people could be employed in the Liverpool region once the project is up and running. An alternative neighbouring site might also be considered.

Despite minister claims that the scheme will result in significant cuts in emissions, their estimates claim 9,500 tonnes of CO2 and 3.5 million litres of fuel per million TEU, not to mention the relief for Sydney commuters, the Green Party has raised objections saying that the increase in local traffic around the site will prove unacceptable and pose a pollution threat to the Georges River, a popular spot with swimmers and other water sports enthusiasts.

The project is being awarded ‘open access’ status to ensure the most commercially acceptable terms are maintained and the Government is asking for tenders to design and build the entire scheme.

Photo: An artists impression of the finished project.