Danielle Shaw

Port of Fremantle - Photo Fremantle Ports

WA’s record trade volumes require more intermodals

Western Australia needs more intermodal capacity to cope with a growing freight sector, a transport department representative has told a recent conference.

Graeme Doyle from WA’s Department of Transport told delegates at this year’s AusIntermodal Conference in Sydney recently that international seaborne trade through Western Australia’s ports had a record year in terms of value, with trade worth in excess of $180 billion.

However, the iron ore state is recovering from the boom when it saw pressure for additional port capacity, and is now transitioning to a “post boom scenario”.

Even so, the Department of Transport has forecast interstate and international demand to reach 1.8 million teus (twenty-foot equivalent container units) beyond 2041, meaning additional terminal capacity in WA is required.

There are vast options to satisfy this, including the government’s ‘Latitude 32’ project which is to be developed over 30 years, in the Hope Valley Wattleup area, 27km south of Perth.

There are six development areas within Latitude 32 and each is at a different stage of development.

The first, and most developed, is Flinders Precinct off Anketell Road and six kilometres from the Kwinana Freeway. Already at stage four or five, the subdivision and development stage, 60% of the precinct is sold to operators including ATCO, Imdex and Southern Steel.

Development Area 2 is the Wattleup Precinct and is just west of the freight railway link to Kewdale. With 70% owned by the State Government, the rest is made up of 6 other landowners and is the former Wattleup town site.

Doyle explained that Latitude 32 has the potential to house two intermodal precincts. The first precinct would have access for port rail shuttles and a capacity of 400,000 teu per annum, while the second would have the same capacity but would be developed later, by 2041, when interstate container demand requires it.

A formal logistics model would be developed between Fremantle Port’s Outer Harbour and Latitude 32. However, he said a modal share target needs resolving to determine the ultimate purpose of Latitude 32.

Bullsbrook is another potential site for an intermodal terminal beyond 2041 or earlier, according to Mr Doyle, who said it’s likely to be developed as an alternative to Latitude 32 if the government focus on developing Fremantle Port’s Outer Harbour.

Bullsbrook is already home to the Northern Gateway Industrial Park, bordered by the Great Northern Highway, the Perth to Geraldton Rail Line, and Stock Road.

Mundijong is another site the government has identified as having the potential for an intermodal facility, however Mr Doyle thinks this is unlikely.

The Department of Transport and the Department of Transport prefer an eastern location for the intermodal facility, adjoining the southern extension of Tonkin Highway.

This article was originally published on Rail Express affiliate site Lloyd’s List Australia.

Aurizon freight train. Photo: Aurizon

Aurizon to run Enfield intermodal site

Aurizon has entered into a Heads of Agreement with NSW Ports for the operations of its Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre.

Under the agreement, Aurizon will lease land and warehousing at the ILC site and operate the intermodal terminal.

Enfield is intended to be an open access terminal whereby any rail operator can access the intermodal terminal by agreement with Aurizon, for the purpose of transporting containers to and from Port Botany.  Enfield is capped at handling 300,000 teu (twenty-foot containers, or equivalent) per year on rail.

While at this stage the Heads of Agreement is non-binding, NSW Ports expects that a binding lease and terminal operator agreement will be signed in the first quarter of 2016.

Marika Calfas, NSW Ports’ interim chief executive officer, said Aurizon’s growth aspirations align with NSW Ports’ strategy to build a sustainable container supply chain within NSW, and increase the rail mode share of containers to and from Port Botany.

Kalfas said NSW Ports’ goal is for three million teu per year to be transported by rail by 2045.

“The Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre will be part of this solution, becoming an inland extension to Port Botany,” Kalfas said.

Swift Transport will operate the first on-site warehouse to be developed at the ILC site which NSW Ports expects will start operations within the first quarter of 2016.

A spokesman for NSW Ports also commented on the Enfield development in relation to the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal, saying the two terminals are in different catchment areas and so will be complementary rather than competing sites.

Moorebank is being built and operated by a 50/50 joint venture between Aurizon and Qube Holdings.

NSW Ports is a consortium of institution investors comprising IFM Investors, Australian Super, Tawreed Investments and Q Super, Cbus, Hesta and Hostplus.

It manages Port Botany, Port Kembla, the Cooks River Intermodal Terminal and Enfield Intermodal Logistics Centre.

This article originally appeared in Rail Express affiliate Lloyd’s List Australia.

Shipping containers. Photo: Shutterstock

Queensland’s draft infrastructure plan prioritises freight

Queensland has released its draft State Infrastructure Plan outlining freight market access as a priority for future investment, and the sustainable development of key ports as a long term opportunity.

Upgrades to several key highways, including the Bruce Highway, and Warrego Highway, have been identified as projects within the 1-4 year program.

Assisting in the Inland Rail project is proposed as a 5-15 year opportunity in the report.

The plan also notes an opportunity to respond to growth in freight movement by identifying and protecting future transport corridors, and enhancing regulatory frameworks that optimise the efficiency of supply chains.

Deputy premier and minister for transport, infrastructure, local government, planning and trade Jackie Trad, said the draft plan is fiscally responsible, long-term and encourages private sector innovation.

She said that rather than being prescriptive, the plan presents the challenges and identifies opportunities without dictating specific solutions.

Meanwhile, the Australian Logistics Council has welcomed the release of the draft plan, saying it is the first step in providing a solid blueprint to guide the state’s investments to improve supply chain efficiency.

The ALC also applauded the state’s inclusion of the Inland Rail project on its Infrastructure Priority List, with the ALC’s managing director Michael Kilgariff saying the project will “help meet Queensland’s freight task in the future”.

Queensland has also proposed that the National Land Transport Network renewal reform be added to the Infrastructure Priority List.

This reform aims to deliver asset-renewal preservation and an operations program for the state’s National Land Transport Network, enabling more efficient and reliable freight access.

Public consultation is open until December 2, 2015, and feedback will assist in Queensland developing the final plan, which is due for release early next year.

This story originally appeared in Rail Express affiliate, Lloyd’s List Australia.

Coal. Photo: Shutterstock

Queensland lodges final EIS backing Adani port expansion

The expansion of rail receival and coal export facilities at Abbot Point has taken a step forward, with a formal Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) submitted to the Commonwealth.

Queensland submitted the Abbot Point Growth Gateway Project’s final EIS to the Federal Government on Tuesday, October 27.

The Commonwealth has 40 business days to give the green light to dredging works at Abbot Point, which are vital in order to export coal from the proposed Carmichael Mine.

The EIS stated that the “short-duration” and “low environmental-risk project” will have the least impact on matters of national environmental significance compared with the alternatives considered to date.

And, that it’s unlikely for there to be a decline in the integrity of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) as a result of the project.

The EIS also found that the project is unlikely to result in residual significant impacts of listed threatened species, and included mitigation measures to avoid having an impact on wildlife.

State development minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the port expansion plan agrees with the Galilee Basin proponents and would protect the Great Barrier Reef and nationally-significant Caley Valley wetlands.

He said that no dredging will occur in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and no dredged material will be dumped at sea or in the Caley Valley wetlands.

Expansion at Abbot Point would allow coal from the proposed Adani Carmichael mine to be exported to international markets.

The EIS process included a 21-busniess day public consultation which received 55,000 submissions.

The Expansion project at the Abbot Point Coal Port involves constructing embankments to create dredged material containment ponds, and the capital dredging of coal export terminal T0.

The offshore component consists of dredging around 1.1m cubic metres of seabed for the purpose of ship berth pockets and apron to support the development of facilities for coal export terminal T0.

The Port of Abbot Point, near Bowen in north Queensland, straddles the boundary of the GBRWHA.  The offshore port area is located within the GBRWHA while the onshore coal terminals are adjacent.  The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park begins at the limits of the port boundary.

Abbot Point’s one operating terminal (T1) was acquired by the Adani Group by way of a long term lease from the State Government in 2011.  T1 is being operated by Abbot Point BulkCoal (ABP) under a long term Operations and Management Agreement that was acquired by Adani as part of the sale from North Queensland Bulk Ports.  APB is a subsidiary of Glencore.

Toowoomba. Photo: Queensland Government

Qld’s DILGP appoints new Director General

Queensland’s Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning has welcomed Frankie Carroll as its new director-general.

Carroll is currently the chief executive of the Queensland Reconstruction Authority and also has been the deputy chief executive and chief financial officer of this body as well as chief executive officer of Queensland Water Infrastructure.

He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, a fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and a member of the Association of Institute of Taxation in Ireland.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk welcomed Carroll, saying he had experience in several relevant sectors.

“Mr Carroll brings to the role a strong skill set in strategy formulation, risk management, project delivery, all financial aspects of business, contract negotiation, resource utilisation, and establishing integrated governance and risk frameworks,” Palaszczuk said.

“He has led high performing teams, takes a collaborative leadership approach, and has demonstrated a strong track-record of successful outcomes.”

The recruitment process was chaired by the Public Service Commission acting chief executive, Robert Setter, and included Lynelle Briggs, chair of the NSW Planning Assessment Commission, and Jim Hallion, coordinator-general, South Australia.


Meanwhile, Mark Stockwell, chair of the Queensland Trade and Investment Board, has announced he will step down from his role for family reasons and to devote more time to his own business activities.

Stockwell was appointed chair of the inaugural board in October 2013.

Deputy Premier and minister for trade Jackie Trad said that as an eminent businessman, property developer and Olympian, Stockwell’s expertise was critical to organising TIQ as a new standalone authority.

A new candidate to permanently fill the position of chair will be announced shortly. Stockwell is to remain chair until a replacement is appointed.

This story originally appeared in Rail Express affiliate, Lloyd’s List Australia.

Port Waratah Coal Services (PWCS) terminal at the Port of Newcastle. Photo: Chris Mackey

Hunter coal terminal approved

After almost five years of planning, a new rail receival and export terminal has been approved for construction at the Port of Newcastle.

The New South Wales Planning Assessment Commission has determined the Port Waratah Coal Services proposal for a fourth coal terminal at Newcastle can be approved “with stringent conditions”.

The $4.8 billion open access coal export terminal, Terminal 4, would have the capacity to ship 70 million tonnes of coal per annum.

Constructing the terminal would involve the development of new rail and coal receival infrastructure, comprising up to four arrival tracks, two dump stations and up to four departure sidings.

The terminal would also include coal stockpile pads, stackers and reclaimers, wharf and berth infrastructure for up to two shiploaders, and berthing for up to three ships.

Under the approval, PWCS will undertake contamination and remediation works and site preparation ground treatment, including pre-loading for foundation, with sand dredged from the Hunter River.

The project also includes associated infrastructure like roads, fences, landscaping, car parks, water management infrastructure and temporary facilities.

Because of its close proximity to a Ramsar wetlands site, the Planning Assessment Commission ruled PWCS must prioritise certain biodiversity and remediation works.

Adverse environmental impacts must be minimised and regularly monitored.

PWCS will also build three biodiversity offset sites at Ellalong Lagoon, Brundee Swamp Nature Reserve, and Tomago.

PWCS first lodged the application for Terminal 4, which will be situated on Kooragang Island, in 2010. At that stage the coal export business was considering a site that could allow a throughput of 120 million tonnes of coal per annum.

While the scope of the project has been reduced, the site will still have the potential to expand, with further development approval.

PWCS chief executive Henni du Plooy said the world has changed since the company originally lodged the application, and the need for extra coal export capacity is not so immediate.

The approval process has involved around 1700 days of assessment, 125 days of public exhibition and 30 hours of public hearings.

The project will now be reviewed by the Commonwealth under the Environmental Protection and biodiversity Conservation Act.

This article originally appeared on Rail Express affiliate Lloyd’s List Australia. See the original here.

ACCC’s Sims: Privatisation must have long-term focus

Competition boss Rod Sims has warned against privatising major assets for immediate financial benefit while effectively creating a ‘tax’ on future generations.

Speaking at Friday’s Infrastructure Partnerships Australia conference in Sydney, Sims, the chairman of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, spoke at length about the trend of governments announcing projects based on funding from privatising some of Australia’s significant ports and other key infrastructure assets.

Victoria’s level crossing removal program, which involves billions in spending over the next eight years, is one example of this, with Premier David Andrews pinning the success of the program to the controversial sale of the Port of Melbourne.

“This [process] creates a strong incentive for governments to structure their privatisation processes in a manner that maximises the sale price they receive,” Sims observed.

“In order to maximise sale prices, governments will have little incentive to closely examine whether the market structure and regulatory arrangements that will apply post-privatisation are conducive to competition and appropriate outcomes.”

Sims added that without pricing and access mechanisms in place prior to such sales, there is a strong likelihood that users of privatised infrastructure will face higher prices and restricted access.

He also raised concerns about the costs that will follow if infrastructure owners engage in monopoly rent extraction, saying transferring market power to private hands can limit investment and innovation.

“Monopolies, therefore, generally require effective economic regulation,” he said.

This article originally appeared in Rail Express affiliate Lloyd’s List Australia.

Roe Highway upgrade - Perth Freight Link. Photo: Creative Commons

Perth Freight Link to go ahead next year

The controversial road project designed to link Fremantle with central Perth will begin in 2016, according to WA senator and minister for finance Mathias Cormann.

Cormann on Sunday reiterated his past commitments to a 2016 start date, saying the Perth Freight Link is “long overdue”.

He said Canberra is confident that both phases of the $1.6 billion road project – which has been opposed by environmental groups and rail advocates alike – will be underway by 2016.

That’s despite WA Premier Colin Barnett being unable to confirm a 2016 commencement in WA Parliament earlier this month.

During question time on August 18, Labor member for West Swan, Rita Saffioti, asked if Barnett could confirm Cormann’s suggestion of a 2016.

“Who is correct,” Saffioti asked, “the Premier or Mr Cormann? Will stage 2 commence next year?”

Barnett replied that until an exact route for stage two is determined, all the necessary approvals are in place, contracts are signed, and construction commissioned, “no-one can put an exact timing on that”.

However, Cormann said on August 30 that the the Commonwealth is working with the Barnett Government to finally make the project a reality, starting next year.

Cormann said that while more trade through WA, and in particular, the Port of Fremantle, is a positive, it also means more trucks on the roads to Fremantle Port.

“Currently those trucks are using fragmented and inefficient sections of our road network, mixing with commuter and local traffic, creating excessive disruptions to local communities,” he said.

“Without the Perth Freight Link as a productivity enhancing piece of strategic road infrastructure, this worsening congestion will increasingly act as a handbrake on our economy.”

Meanwhile, shadow parliamentary secretary for WA, Alannah Mactiernan has pointed out there was no careful planning or Infrastructure Australia assessment prior to the announcement of the Perth Freight Link in July 2014.

“The Perth Freight Link is an irresponsible, ill-planned project that will worsen the congestion problems around Fremantle and threaten WA’s future trade growth by leaving us short of critical port capacity,” Mactiernan said.

Instead, Mactiernan said, the Barnett and Abbott Governments should get on with planning and developing the outer harbour at the Port of Fremantle, rather than “wasting scarce taxpayer money on outdated roads on a constrained port”.

Problems with the project that have been cited by the Labor Party and opposing groups such as Rethink The Link include the destruction of wetlands, the threat to homes and businesses, and the fact that the Link will stop 1.5km short of the Port of Fremantle.

Curtin University professor of sustainability and former Infrastructure Australia board member Peter Newman has also opposed the project, saying it undermines the bipartisan push to get more freight on rail at the port.

Related story: Former IA member: Perth Freight Link uneconomic, undermines rail

“If you’re going to build a toll road which is faster for trucks, why would you keep subsidising rail?” Newman pondered in July. “You want to pay off the road. I don’t think the case has been looked at, at all, to see how this really undermines the whole process of the rail option.”

The Perth Freight Link is jointly funded by the Commonwealth and WA governments. It involves building a freight freeway into Fremantle in two sections, both of which are due to be contracted to developers later this year.

The project is expected to be completed by 2019. Main Roads WA estimates that the Perth Freight Link will result in the removal of 500 trucks per day from Leach Highway, between Kwinana Freeway and Stock Road, by 2031.

With additional reporting from Oliver Probert.

This is an edited version of an article which originally appeared in Rail Express affiliate Lloyd’s List Australia.


Shipping containers. Photo: Shutterstock

Stevedore DP World launches real-time customer portal

Rail information is included in DP World Australia (DPWA)’s new Customer Portal, which displays live data from the container stevedore’s Terminal Operating System.

Customers at DPWA’s terminals in Brisbane, Fremantle, Melbourne and Sydney can search for performance data across multiple terminals and dashboards will display key performance indicators for DPWA’s container, vessel and road operations.

The system will provide the live status of slot utilisation each day, showing road transport slots that are available at each terminal and in each zone.

“As well as the access to live updates on container, vessel, road and rail information, customers will have instant access to invoices,” Max Kruse, DPWA’s chief commercial operator said at the launch event in Sydney this week.

“We now have access to a wider range of information than ever before,” he said.

“We would like to share it with our customers and stakeholders.  It provides DP World Australia with a strong competitive advantage.”

At the Victorian Transport Authority’s Port Outlook seminar in Melbourne recently, Kruse told delegates that the new customer portal will be updated every 10 seconds.  And, he said that data representing the container turn-around times and container per truck ratios spanning the last eight hours, will be available to customers.

The new portal will replace the existing DP World Australia Portal currently hosted externally, and will be available to all DPWA’s customers and supply chain partners.

A mobile version is in development.


This article originally appeared in Rail Express sister publication, Lloyd’s List Australia.

Moorebank / Inset: Kerry Schott. Photo: MICL / Burston Marsteller

Canberra reappoints chair of Moorebank Intermodal

The Federal Government has reappointed Dr Kerry Schott AO as chair of the board of directors of the Moorebank Intermodal Company (MIC) for a further three years.

A joint statement by federal finance minister Mathias Cormann and deputy PM Warren Truss said her reappointment will provide continuity and stability to MIC as it implements the terms of its commercial deal with Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA).

Schott has been chair of MIC since the company was formed in December 2012.

Under Schott’s leadership, MIC concluded an agreement with SIMTA, comprising Qube Holdings and Aurizon Holdings, for the development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.

Schott’s roles in addition to chair of the MIC have included managing director and chief executive officer of Sydney Water, managing director of Deutsche Bank, and executive vice president of Bankers Trust Australia.

Schott holds a doctorate from Oxford University, a Masters of Arts from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, and a Bachelor of Arts (first class Honours) from the University of New England.

She is also a key member on the boards of NBN Co and the NSW Treasury Corporation and was recognised with an Order of Australia award earlier this year, for distinguished service to business and commerce through a range of public and private sector finance roles to leadership in the delivery of government infrastructure projects, and to the community.

This story originally appeared in Rail Express sister publication, Lloyd’s List Australia.