26 March 2013
Infrastructure Australia (IA) has welcomed the agreement between the Australian and NSW governments to move ahead with improving access to the Chullora Intermodal Terminal in South West Sydney.
Australia's National Infrastructure Coordinator, Michael Deegan, praised the proactive and decisive action of Ministers Albanese and Gay, and the Bankstown Council, particularly Mayor Khal Asfour, in tackling this long-term problem.
“The Ministers and Mayor have shown true leadership—leadership we need around Australia to unlock our freight bottlenecks, impasses and inefficiencies, and deliver the infrastructure we need into the future,” Mr Deegan said.
“The issue of access to the Chullora Intermodal Terminal has been around for more than 20 years without resolution.
“It not is until now we have seen the federal and state governments, in partnership with Bankstown Council, step up and deliver what, in all reality, is a simple and efficient solution.
“It goes to show that just throwing large buckets of money at infrastructure bottlenecks is not always needed to deliver strong benefits, both locally and as a part of our national freight network.
“In fact, the Chullora Intermodal access project will cost just $345,000 but will deliver benefits in the range of $5.5 million a year, and will support jobs in the region.
“We know bottlenecks in our freight system cost our economy in lost productivity and increased transport costs—costs that in the end are passed on to the consumer.
“We also know that the first link in releasing the potential of freight is unlocking our ports, for which we have set the foundations with Australia's first ever National Ports Strategy.
“But unlocking our freight potential does not stop at the port gate and that is why our National Land Freight Strategy looks to guide seamless interconnection between our major freight nodes, such as major rail terminals in our largest cities, to get what we need where we need it as effectively as possible.
“Encouragingly, both the federal and state and territory governments have come on board with both of these strategies.
“As with the Chullora Intermodal access project—which links the national road network with that of rail, and the Terminal, over several hundred metres—each project on our network, if carefully considered and planned, will benefit our entire nation,” he concluded.