Abbott will halt Moorebank freight terminal: Kelly

Coalition will “halt” construction of the proposed Moorebank freight terminal near Sydney if elected

By Brad Gardner | July 30, 2010

The Coalition will halt the construction of a new freight terminal near Sydney if it wins government on August 21.

The office of opposition spokesman on transport Warren Truss has confirmed comments by Liberal candidate for Hughes Craig Kelly about the future of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal.

Despite the Federal Government committing to two years of design work and community consultation, a spokesman for Truss says affected communities have raised concerns about their views being ignored.

Earlier this week, Kelly stated on his website that: "Mr [Tony] Abbott has given a commitment that if elected, he will halt the project until local residents’ concerns have been addressed."

While agreeing with Kelly about residents’ concerns, the spokesman for Truss used a slightly different term to describe the situation.

"There is a pause for consultation," he says, adding that there is no talk the project is being stopped.

He says people have raised concerns and it is important they are listened to.

"The community has to be allowed to express their views," the spokesman says.

The Federal Government allocated $70.7 million in this year’s federal Budget specifically for two years of detailed planning work on the project.

"The detailed planning for the proposed Moorebank Intermodal Terminal is in its very early stages and we expect this work will take approximately two years to complete," a spokesperson for Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese says.

"During this time the Moorebank Project Office will undertake extensive consultations with the local community, giving them a proper chance to have their say."

The spokesperson says the Government has already set up a website to give communities information on the terminal.

"What’s more, the project will be subjected to the same rigorous planning and environmental assessment processes as any other major piece of new infrastructure and will require the approval of the relevant state and federal authorities before construction can begin," the spokesperson says.

Staged construction is due to begin in 2013, with the Federal Government expecting the terminal will eventually take over 1 million trucks a year off the M5.

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