Albo laughs off floodplain claim


Minister Albanese ridicules Qube claim its proposed Moorebank site for an intermodal hub is subject to flooding and contaminattion conspiracy

Albo laughs off floodplain claim
Albo laughs off floodplain claim

By Anna Game-Lopata | June 26, 2012

Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese has ridiculed Qube Logistics’ claim its proposed site for an intermodal hub in Moorebank is in a catchment subject to flooding from the Georges River and that it failed to disclose
costs related to its contamination.

"If our site is on a floodplain, so is theirs," a spokesperson for the minister says. "I don’t see any hills between the two sites."

He
is referring to the 83 hectare property owned by the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA), which is directly across the road from the government-owned site in Sydney’s western suburb of Moorebank.

A 67-33 percent equity venture between Qube Logistics and QR National, with Qube holding the greater share, SIMTA has proposed to build a rail shuttle capable of handling one million containers per annum and warehousing facilities on its site at a total cost of $1 billion.

Meanwhile the government has ramped up its own intermodal terminal proposal dating back to Nation Building rail funding in 2010 under the Rudd government, this year calling for private sector tenders to construct and operate the sorely needed intermodal terminal.

Speaking with SupplyChain Review, the
spokesperson refutes the further claim the government has been secretive about the remediation required for its 220 hectare
property.

"We’ve always said there will be remediation required," the Minister’s spokesperson says.

"The government has stated there is likely to be some contamination on the site and therefore contingency exists for its remediation in the budget.

Both the government and SIMTA sites are currently occupied by buildings owned or operated by the Department of Defence.

The SIMTA site is leased to Defence Logistics with a five year option to renew, and the government site is occupied by the School of Military Engineering.

While the phased withdrawal of Defence Logistics from SIMTA’s by 2014 is subject to a number of question marks, the government has contributed close to $900 million in its May budget for the re-location of the School of Military Engineering to facilities at the nearby Holsworthy barracks.

However, despite some investigation, SupplyChain Review has been unable to source any documentation which specifically refers to contamination or the need for remediation on the government’s Moorebank site.

May budget figures show a slight discrepancy of about $4.4 million between the two amounts the government says it has allocated over four years for the relocation of the School of Military Engineering, bt the requirement for remediation is not specifically itemised.

Similarly about $200,000 over four years is unaccounted for in the costs specified for the creation of the Government Business Enterprie tasked with tendering the project to the provate sector.

Bolstered by the positive results from its Greenhill Caliburn feasibility conducted in 2010, the government maintains its site is the better, quashing argument about taxpayer funds required to get it to a commercially viable stage.

"We’ve already had interest from 40 private sector companies in operating the facility," the spokesperson says.

"We see no reason to favour Qube Logistics or anyone else. Conspiracy theories are just silly. We'll have an intermodal site up in Moorebank by 2017 as we have promised."

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