IN FOR LONG HAUL

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT

THE pro­po­nents of a $ 30 mil­lion freight fa­cil­ity project at Clon­curry say it will boost the use of rail and pro­vide bil­lions of dol­lars’ worth of trans­port ef­fi­cien­cies to grow in­dus­try.

Queens­land com­pany Grand Cen­tral In­dus­tries is propos­ing the Mul­tiUse Rail Load- Out Fa­cil­ity over about 330ha of land.

It will de­velop a rail spur into the site from the Great North­ern Line to han­dle trains up to 1000m long, pro- vide rail and truck load­ing and un­load­ing fa­cil­i­ties, build a road in­ter­sec­tion with the Flin­ders High­way and de­velop a stor­age area for con­tainer­ised freight and com­modi­ties.

Grand Cen­tral In­dus­tries CEO Josip Oba­jdin said the project would em­ploy 62 peo­ple at Clon­curry and was ex­pected to de­liver huge sav­ings and eco­nomic ben­e­fits to in­dus­try, gov­ern­ment and lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties by im­prov­ing the ef­fi­ciency of a sup­ply chain worth $ 13 bil­lion a year.

He said fore­cast ben­e­fits in­cluded in­creas­ing the ca­pac­ity of the Great North­ern Line be­tween Mount Isa and Townsville by 2.1 mil­lion tonnes a year and re­duce costs as­so­ci­ated with the haulage of bulk goods by road.

“It may be de­scribed as an in­land ver­sion of Sin­ga­pore, where the in­ter­modal ter­mi­nal is an­tic­i­pated to act as a gate­way to in­ter­na­tional mar­kets as part of a com­plete sup­ply chain which in­cludes the Port of Townsville,” Mr Oba­jdin said.

Grand Cen­tral In­dus­tries hoped to be­gin con­struc­tion be­fore mid- 2019.

Clon­curry Shire Mayor Greg Camp­bell said the pro­posal ce­mented Clon­curry as the in­land port for the Carpentaria min­er­als prov­ince.

“I think it has huge po­ten­tial to draw a lot more freight, which his­tor­i­cally has been on rail, back to rail,” Cr Camp­bell said.

State MP Rob­bie Kat­ter said any­thing that in­tro­duced more com­pe­ti­tion to the rail line was wel­come but that the State Gov­ern­ment still needed to re­duce freight prices for the trans­port of bulk com­modi­ties by rail.

GREAT PO­TEN­TIAL: An artist’s im­pres­sion of Grand Cen­tral In­dus­tries’ $ 30m multi- use rail load- out fa­cil­ity to be built at Clon­curry.

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