AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Parkes super-hub given initial state planning nod

<p>Terminals Australia’s ambitious plan to build a 365-ha inland hub at Parkes in central New South Wales has received initial approval from the state’s planning department.</p> <p>The project has been criticised for having taken so long to get going, particularly given the presence of rival hubs in the town owned by FCL and SCT Logistics.</p> <p>But NSW planning minister Frank Sartor said the $135m hub was part of a critical link for the state.</p> <p>The first stage of the project should handle up to 240,000 containers each year, but completion is not expected for another five years.</p> <p>Subsequent stages, for which the plans have not been tabled, could eventually see the terminal handle four trains a day and 530,000 containers each year by both road and rail.</p> <p>The terminal will include rail sidings on the main western rail line and sidings and passing loops on the Parkes-Narromine line.</p> <p>Mr Sartor said that Terminals Australia had also agreed to fund road upgrades including the intersection of Hartigan Avenue and the Newell Highway.</p> <p>The planning department still wants to examine several environmental issues, traffic and noise issues.</p> <p>The initial plan, as part of the proposal submitted in June last year, included four 2,000-metre rail sidings, 28 ha of warehousing and a network of internal roads.</p> <p>The facility could handle up to 48 trains and 1,800 trucks a week.</p> <p>Parkes is considered an ideal centre to have a intermodal hub as it is within 12 hours of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane particularly with a new inland rail line between Melbourne and Brisbane now moving ahead.</p> <br />