Construction on the long-anticipated intermodal terminal at Moorebank has formally begun this week, with a sod-turning ceremony on Thursday morning.
Moorebank Intermodal Company chairman Kerry Schott and Qube chairman Chris Corrigan were joined by federal finance minister Mathias Cormann and transport and infrastructure minister Darren Chester at the site.
The government’s Moorebank Intermodal Company reached financial close on their agreement to develop and operate the site with Qube in late January.
Corrigan welcomed the commencement of construction, noting Moorebank was identified as a priority location for a freight terminal as early as 2004.
“The site has a direct rail link to Port Botany and the interstate freight network which, along with its proximity to major motorways, makes it ideal for an intermodal facility,” he said.
“Moorebank Logistics Park will transform the freight and logistics supply chain along the East Coast.”
Schott said the government and Qube shared a long-term strategy.
“The commencement of construction is a significant milestone that recognises our success and brings us a step closer to realising the substantial benefits this development will deliver for the people of southwest Sydney, and NSW more broadly,” Schott said.
“Moorebank Logistics Park is a nationally significant infrastructure project that will be a major economic contributor to local and regional communities for years to come.”
Chester and Cormann noted in a joint statement that the Commonwealth has committed to contribute $370 million to the project, along with 158 ha of land.
“By leveraging private sector financing, the combined precinct will deliver all the significant benefits for the economy, but at a much lower cost and less risk to the Australian taxpayer,” the joint statement read.
“These benefits will include lower freight costs, less congestion on our roads and reduced road damage as heavy vehicle use is reduced.
“Over $3 billion of benefits are expected as a result of reduced travel time for cars and trucks and over $170 million of benefits expected from road accidents avoided by taking trucks off the road.”
Moorebank’s import-export freight terminal is expected to be open by late 2018, while the interstate terminal is set to open in 2020.
Both terminals are to operate under an open access regime, the ministers said.