Ararat accelerates down freight hub path


WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff to conduct feasibility study

Ararat accelerates down freight hub path
Jaala Pulford sees promise in the hub concept.

 

Regional freight hub development quietened down through the election but the western Victorian town of Ararat has broken the relative silence with state government help.

Strategic consulting firm WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff will undertake a feasibility study on developing the facility regional development minister Jaala Pulford has announced.

Her government is providing $100,000 towards the study from its $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund.

The study will identify Ararat’s role and function in the freight network and examine the opportunity for developing a transport and industry hub in the Ararat City Council local government area.

Ararat is on the Adelaide-Melbourne road freight route, at the junction of the Western and Pyrenees highways.

It has an existing rail service and direct rail access to Victoria’s major ports.

The proposed hub would aim to move produce to local, interstate and international markets more quickly and efficiently.

"Not only is its location critical to the movement of freight throughout the region and the state, it is situated in a prime agricultural region for grain, livestock, and wine production," the government says.

The study aims to provide data and analysis about the need for a freight and logistics hub and analyse its potential benefits, including:

  • reduced costs due to improve efficiency
  • a centralised point for north- south and east-west interchange
  • the ability to offload onto larger or smaller vehicles
  • the ability for transport firms to use Ararat as a logistics centre
  • the ability to backfill loads, reducing costs
  • access for High Productivity Freight Vehicles.

"With Victoria’s food and fibre exports increasing in value each year, the state needs the right regional infrastructure to support growth in production, processing and transportation," Pulford says

"This feasibility study is an important step forward in identifying how we may improve rail and road freight interconnectivity and increase services that are critical to our region’s growth."

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