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“PIT to port” solutions are to become a reality at Townsville with the announcement of $30m from the Queensland government towards a new $48m common-user rail freight terminal at the port.

Subject to business case completion and approval the port is to contribute $18m to build the terminal which is expected to be commissioned by early 2022.

The terminal is designed to achieve modal shift from road to rail, helping get more minerals off the road and onto rail before being shipped overseas.

Port of Townsville chief executive Ranee Crosby welcomed the state government’s commitment saying it would make the port and supply chain more efficient, competitive and productive.

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“It eliminates double-handling, giving customers time, cost and efficiency benefits for moving freight and avoiding high up-front infrastructure costs,” Ms Crosby said.

“The terminal will be open-access, meaning multiple transport and logistics companies will be able to offer supply-chain services utilising the new facility.”

Ms Crosby said Townsville was the primary logistics hub in northern Australia, and important infrastructure investments would enhance its competitiveness.

“The Mount Isa Rail Line transports almost four million tonnes of freight annually, and the terminal would not only benefit existing mining ventures but would be an enabler for new mines and other industries including general cargo such as cement and mining/agricultural products.”

Along with the rail siding, some 6.4ha of port land is to be developed to store up to 1200 containers.

Construction of the terminal is expected to start by July next year and is projected to take 18 months.

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