New Charlton regional intermodal port gets Council green light

By: Jason Whittaker

A new intermodal regional freight port at Charlton, west of Toowoomba, has been given the green light by local council. The

A new intermodal regional freight port at Charlton, west of Toowoomba, has been given the green light by local council.

The Jondaryan Shire Council, soon to be amalgamated into the Toowoomba shire, has given development consent for the Australian Transport and Energy Corridor (ATEC) group to develop the 200 hectare site.

The ATEC Freight Terminals Trust plans to spend $150 million in three stages of development over the next 20 years.

The Charlton terminal will link the rich Surat Basin resource province to the freight and logistics markets of eastern Australia.

Stage 1 is set to be completed by 2012, Stage 2 to be completed by 2016 and stage 3 to be completed thereafter.

John Dornbusch, Chairman of ATEC Freight Terminals Trust, says the site will be the major regional port support growth in Queensland.

"South-east Queensland has desperate need for an environmentally aware and efficient regional port to support the growth of the region," he says.

"ATEC has been pursuing this and the broader inland rail vision and has invested considerable funds to transform the way freight is moved within this corridor. We believe there are considerable benefits in what we are seeking to develop and offer the freight and logistics industry.

"We support the Queensland Government’s view that by 2030 the Surat Basin resources province will be adding $10 billion per annum to gross regional product and supporting 16,000 new jobs."

Dornbusch says the project means jobs in the development stage and ongoing jobs on site.

He says the ATEC Trust is "here for the long term".

He says the group is exploring further regional port sites in northern Queensland and New South Wales.

"When ATEC first commenced promoting the inland rail we had to spend a lot of time explaining the benefits of shifting trucks off the road, using rail for long haul traffic and developing efficient regional ports to service freight which traditionally has been stored in expensive real estate," he says.

"I think we have turned the corner now and the logistics industry sees the opportunity to transform itself and revolutionise service levels through the use of regional ports to service the major capital cities."

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