Sydney Ports starts again with a slimmed-down Enfield intermodal plan

<p>Sydney Ports Corporation has re-launched its abortive plan for an intermodal terminal at Enfield in Sydney’s west. </p> <p>As expected, the new proposal will contain a much smaller intermodal terminal than the plan squashed by the Milton Morris inquiry exactly two years ago as "too big".</p> <p>The new plans foresee a 300,000-teu-per-annum rail facility rather than the 500,000 teu of the original plan. </p> <p>More of the 60 ha, 2km-long site will instead be used for container logistics and warehousing facilities to make the container operation more self-contained. </p> <p>SPC carefully describes the plan as an "intermodal logistics centre" rather than an intermodal terminal.</p> <p>SPC expects an environmental impact statement to be filed by mid-year, and the proposal will also have to go through a commission of inquiry. However, it could be completed by 2008.</p> <p>SPC’s general manager for commerce and logistics, Simon Barney, said the plan is based on "demand which is there now", given increases in intermodal operations since the last EIS was completed on the site three years ago. </p> <p>The longer-term port expansion at Port Botany, the subject of its own commission of inquiry which resumes next week, also depends on a growing modal shift from road to rail to 40% and intermodal facilities to support it.</p> <p>Though overall rail volumes through the port, including regional traffic, have not grown for several years, metropolitan intermodal movements have continued to buck this trend, Mr Barney said. </p> <p>The Enfield catchment will now cover a triangle between the Cumberland Highway and the new Orbital Road, the M4 corridor, and the M5, in an area which handles around 60% of the city’s import container traffic already.</p> <p>Gary Blaschke, who has fought successive campaigns against Enfield, said that the politicians had always kept Enfield on the agenda by and the Morris inquiry had only been "a hiccough" for them. </p> <p>He said that the rail traffic involved in the Enfield project and the dedicated Macarthur freight line should be drawn into the current Port Botany inquiry despite the State Government giving terms of reference only for Port Botany. </p> <br />