PROPONENTS of the new St Mary’s Freight Hub in western Sydney have hailed the project’s congestion busting potential.
NSW jobs minister and MP for Penrith Stuart Ayres was guest of honour at a sod turning ceremony this week to mark the start of construction.
The new freight hub is to allow shipping containers to be hauled by trains from Port Botany to St Marys rather than transported by thousands of truck trips.
Pacific National CEO Dean Dalla Valle said St Marys Freight Hub would shift up to 301,000 shipping containers onto rail each year, removing up to 80,000 truck trips off Sydney’s congested motorways annually, improving road safety and reducing the daily commute time of motorists.
“By shifting more freight onto rail between Port Botany and Western Sydney, the number of truck trips on the congested M4 and M5 motorways will be reduced by 8.7m kilometres each year – that’s equivalent to 23 (one-way) truck trips to the moon,” he said.
Mr Dalla Valle said St Marys Freight Hub would allow more people to live and work locally.
“With Western Sydney’s population forecast to grow by another 1.7m people by 2036, freight will be in high demand as will the need for new skilled employment in the region,” he said.
Mr Dalla Valle said the project will also play an important role in NSW economic recovery.
“With the COVID-19 global pandemic creating the most testing employment conditions since the Great Depression, the St Marys Freight Hub will create 60 construction jobs during the peak construction phase and 175 skilled jobs once fully up and running,” he said.
Pacific National has teamed up with port logistics operator ACFS which will manage and operate the hub.
ACFS Port Logistics managing director and CEO Arthur Tzaneros said the St Marys Freight Hub was ideally located to process large volumes of containerised freight.
“Imported shipping containers will be hauled from Port Botany to St Marys Freight Hub by train and transported to nearby warehouses and distribution centres by truck,” Mr Tzaneros said.
“There are enormous opportunities to unlock the full potential of the Hub with future development of the site to enable unpacking of containers onsite, storage of goods, and then rapid distribution for B2B and e-Commerce. The opportunities are unparalleled in Western Sydney,” he said.
Mr Tzaneros said the St Marys Freight Hub would be a game changer for commercial and industrial areas.
“The strategically located 43-hectare hub – initially 10-hectares in size – will increase reliability and cost efficiency of freight movements for ACFS customers,” he said.
“It is located outside of Sydney’s road toll zone and will help ensure freight deliveries are not delayed in traffic congestion.”