CONSTRUCTION has commenced on the Moorebank Logistics Park in Sydney's south-west, which has been described as one of Australia's most important freight infrastructure projects to address urban congestion and improve national freight connectivity.
Assessed as a priority project by Infrastructure Australia, the Moorebank Logistics Park is expected to deliver over $11 billion in economic benefits over the coming 30 years, including $120 million a year for the economy of south-western Sydney.
Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Darren Chester and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said that together with the $3.6 billion Western Sydney Infrastructure Plan and the Airport at Badgerys Creek, the Moorebank project will be a major economic contributor to Western Sydney and the broader national economy.
"Once operating at full capacity, the precinct will remove thousands of heavy truck movements from Sydney's congested roads and the nation's highways, reducing the total distance travelled by trucks in Sydney by approximately 60,000 km per day by 2030," the Ministers said in a statement.
"The precinct will also deliver significant job creation with the precinct employing as many as 6,800 people when operating at full capacity and over 1,300 jobs to be created during the construction phases.
"As a part of our partnership with the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA) the Commonwealth, through its Moorebank Intermodal Company, has committed to contribute $370 million, along with 158 ha of land."
The Ministers said that by leveraging private sector financing, the combined precinct will deliver significant benefits for the economy at a much lower cost and less risk to the Australian taxpayer, with the benefits including lower freight costs, less congestion on our roads and reduced road damage as heavy vehicle use is reduced.
"Over $3 billion of benefits are expected as a result of reduced travel time for cars and trucks and over $170 million of benefits expected from road accidents avoided by taking trucks off the road," they said.
The operation of the import-export freight terminal is expected to commence in late 2018, with the interstate terminal opening in 2020.
The terminals will operate under an open access regime to ensure that other freight transport operators can use it, spreading the benefits throughout the Australian economy.