Freight hub investment call for Melbourne’s north

Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal deemed an important pillar of Covid-19 recovery

Freight hub investment call for Melbourne’s north
Mitchell Shire Council CEO Brett Luxford backs the BIFT proposal


A proposed freight hub in Melbourne’s north is identified as a key project priority for post-pandemic economic recovery in the state.

The Northern Horizons (NH) 2020 report backs urgent investment in infrastructure to drive economic growth and jobs and identifies four key projects, particularly the Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal (BIFT), to create a combined 50,000 jobs in the area.

NH recommends these projects be largely funded by the private sector, but Government endorsement and infrastructure support "would enable them to come on stream more rapidly, boosting economic confidence and create jobs", it adds.

In a fact sheet released in October 2019, the City of Whittlesea notes Beveridge was identified by the State Government as a prime location for Victoria’s interstate freight hub, with over 1,000 hectares of land identified for it and an associated freight- and logistics-based industrial area.

"Once operational, the terminal will enable freight to be transferred from Victoria’s two largest ports of Melbourne and Geelong to the rest of Australia," the document states.

"The proposed site is positioned east of the Melbourne-Sydney rail line and north of the E6 Freeway reservation and is strategically located to maximise links to the Melbourne-Sydney-Brisbane rail line, Hume Freeway and proposed Outer Metropolitan Ring Road."

However, the facility is still only a concept and in the early stages of planning.

"As such, with no clear commitment or timeframes, it makes the integration of infrastructure planning with the adjoining Precinct Structure Plan very difficult," it adds.

At the time the City of Whittlesea said it required a commitment from the state and federal government to undertake the planning for BIFT and confirm the development timeframes, which includes $250,000 to develop a business case and acquire the land.

How the BIFT was referenced in a 2018 Victorian state freight plan, here

The NH priorities align with the North West City Deal, which also identified several transformational infrastructure projects, including the key BIFT project, to allow the north west region to grow and respond to the challenge of COVID-19 recovery.

The proposal has the backing of nearby Mitchell Shire.

"Mitchell Shire Council has advocated on behalf of our community to create jobs and infrastructure and we’re happy to see the Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal on the list of projects highlighted in this report," Mitchell Shire Council CEO Brett Luxford says.

"Projects like this lay a strong foundation for future confidence and investment in our region."

NH also finds that Melbourne’s north is well-positioned to help secure the country’s supply chains via local manufacturing, given the region’s strengths in this space, particularly around food and health, and the education, research and incubator infrastructure that supports manufacturing locally.

The other projects identified in the report as critical for job creation in the region are:

  • The $5 billion La Trobe University Redevelopment 
  • Developing an Epping Food Innovation Hub adjacent to the Melbourne Wholesale Fruit Vegetable and Flower Market 
  • Accelerating the Broadmeadows Revitalisation process.

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