The Australasian Railway Association (ARA) has welcomed a strategy to build world-class intermodal terminals to support Inland Rail announced today, securing the success of this vital rail freight project for the nation.
ARA Chief Executive Officer Caroline Wilkie said the confirmation of arrangements to develop Melbourne and Brisbane intermodal terminals on time for the commencement of operations along the full Inland Rail alignment was a huge boost for the rail freight sector.
“A series of interconnected intermodal terminals are critical to realising the benefits promised by the 1700km Inland Rail line linking Brisbane to Melbourne via Toowoomba, Moree, Parkes and Albury” Ms Wilkie said.
“A network of technologically advanced, open access terminals servicing national and regional freight rail infrastructure will enhance the resilience of the network, facilitate efficient multi-modal supply chains and contribute to realising the capacity projected from the Inland Rail project.
“Innovative, world-leading terminal infrastructure is vital to the competitiveness of freight rail and enhances rail’s attractiveness to customers and freight forwarders.
“This commitment shows the Commonwealth Government recognises that well planned and funded freight rail projects play a vital role in keeping cities moving, delivering more environmentally sustainable freight solutions and reducing congestion.”
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Minister for Urban Infrastructure Paul Fletcher announced today the terminals’ development would be overseen by the expanded Moorebank Intermodal Company, to be known as the National Intermodal Corporation.
The new, Government-owned National Intermodal Corporation will work with the Commonwealth and state governments, the Australian Rail Track Corporation and industry to develop the terminals.
Ms Wilkie said today’s announcement also acknowledged the important role modern terminals play in the efficiency and cost-competitiveness of the national rail freight market.
She said the National Intermodal Corporation was well placed to ensure the best possible outcome for industry.
“The expertise and experience acquired through the development and operation of the Moorebank Logistics Park and intermodal terminal will bring great value to the projects in Melbourne and Brisbane,” Ms Wilkie said.
The ARA looks forward to the resolution of the Commonwealth Government’s negotiations with the Victorian and Queensland governments on terminal site selection.
It welcomed Minister Fletcher’s comments that both the Beveridge and Truganina sites in Victoria would be needed to meet the freight and logistics needs of the state and Australia more broadly.