The Australian Government, together with private enterprise, plan to build Australia’s largest inland container terminal at Moorebank NSW.
For the past seven years the proponents of the proposal, Moorebank Intermodal Company Ltd & Qube Logistics, have constantly claimed that Moorebank is the most suitable site for this facility. These people have continually ignored numerous issues relating to its suitability, one being the fact that the local road network is near its capacity and in need of massive upgrades to cater for the increase in both heavy and light vehicles.
Most people would be aware of the weather that hit Sydney on 4-5 June, which in the case of Liverpool, saw horrendous traffic congestion due to flooding of a number of local roads including Newbridge Road, a major arterial road into and out of the area.
The question of suitability of the site is based on the fact that the site is located on what I would refer to as an island. By island I mean that all traffic exiting the site must, at some time, pass over the Georges River by way of some form of a bridge. The Georges River is well known for its ability to create havoc in respect of traffic in times of heavy rain.
The photos, which were taken at 1.30pm on Tuesday 7 June, show Newbridge Road closed due to flooding. I was advised that at 3.00pm on Wednesday 8 June the road was still closed, this being three days after the rain stopped. When this road is closed, normal traffic must then divert via other roadways that struggle to handle the increase in volume. The result: the road system becomes a car park.
You can imagine what adding an extra 8,000+ heavy vehicles and 6,000+ cars will do to the local road network in the event of flooding. To date, the only commitment to road upgrades has been made by one of the proponents (SIMTA) to widen Moorebank Avenue – the entry point to the site – from two lanes to four, but not till 2030. The other road upgrades that have been identified will cost in excess of one billion dollars.
The Federal Government-owned facility MICL will be required to commit to road upgrades to alleviate the impacts from the terminal, but to date have only committed to 3% of the cost
It would be interesting to know what the transport operators’ thoughts would be in the above scenario – I’m sure they would not be impressed.