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Moorebank rallies against freight hub

<span class="" id="parent-fieldname-description"> Almost 1000 people attended a rally at the weekend protesting over the planned Moorebank Intermodal Freight Terminal on defence land at Holsworthy. </span> <p>By Peter Wilson and Jennifer Perry</p><p>People took issue with the projected increase in heavy truck traffic, air and noise pollution and rail noise in the southwest.</p><p>The 220 hectare site for the hub – on Department of Defence land – is close to the Southern Sydney Freight Line, main interstate rail line and the M5 and M7 motorways and close to southwest and western industrial centres.</p><p>It is badly needed to turn around the decline in port rail traffic.</p><p>Liverpool’s deputy mayor Tony Hadchiti said Liverpool Council supported the residents and shared their concerns, pledging to continue opposition to the project.</p><p>The council has long complained about not getting information about the project, which is due to start in 2013.</p><p>However, the Federal Government, which last month set up a website and a project office in Canberra, claims the terminal will reduce road congestion and delays, improve air quality, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and will also decrease motor vehicle accident rates.</p><p>The Labor and Liberal federal candidates for the local seat of Hume defied the bipartisan support for the project and promised to take the fight to Canberra.</p><p>“I have been knocking on doors here for six months and I know what the feeling is,” Labor’s Brent Thomas said.</p><p>“Whatever the state and national benefits of the terminal, its impacts are too much.</p><p>Liberal Craig Kelly said traffic densities had increased considerably in the area in recent years and the terminal would only add to the problems.</p><p>Infrastructure mistakes had been made all over Sydney and the M5 motorway that linked Port Botany with Moorebank should have been built to handle twice the capacity, he said.</p><p>The proposal to build the 1m TEU intermodal facility has been around since 2005. Despite a Federal Government funding commitment of $300m made last year, there have been recent doubts over the project, with parts of the site leased by the Defence Department.</p><p>Some of these concerns would have been put to rest with the recent Budget provision of $70.7m to complete the detailed planning on the Moorebank project, and for the relocation of Defence’s School of Military Engineering to Holsworthy. Staged redevelopment of the hub is expected to start in 2013 when the current Defence Department lease expires.</p><p>&nbsp</p>