Australia’s largest rail freight operator today welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement to create a special investment zone at the Parkes National Logistics Hub.
Pacific National CEO Dean Dalla Valle said the NSW Government’s 20-year economic vision for regional NSW will encourage private sector investment in freight networks and services.
“A key part of the government’s vision is to streamline planning processes to help turbo-charge delivery of critical freight-related infrastructure in regional NSW,” said Mr Dalla Valle.
Mr Dalla Valle said today’s announcements represents a ‘tripling down on good ideas’ encompassing the Parkes Shire Council’s National Logistics Hub, Australian Government’s
$10 billion Inland Rail project, and now a 20-year economic vision for Regional NSW.
“Efficient supply chains in regional NSW will only be delivered if all levels of government work closely with private companies with expertise in providing freight services,” said Mr Dalla Valle.
Pacific National employs 1,200 people in regional NSW who operate hundreds of freight train services each week hauling goods and commodities ‘to and from’ ports, depots and silos.
Mr Dalla Valle said Pacific National has already invested an initial $35 million to develop one of Australia’s largest interstate intermodal freight terminals in Parkes.
“Our terminal is strategically positioned within the Parkes National Logistics Hub to access the future Inland Rail corridor, the Trans-Australian Railway line to Perth, and the Newell Highway – Parkes sits at the epicentre of the nation’s freight network,” said Mr Dalla Valle.
Mr Dalla Valle said construction of Pacific National’s terminal will commence in September, with 1,800 metre trains commencing services between Parkes and Perth in early 2019.
“Today’s announcement by the NSW Government provides Pacific National with added confidence to continue investing to a level which could enable 450,000 cargo containers to be processed each year through our logistics terminal at Parkes,” said Mr Dalla Valle.
Mr Dalla Valle said the government’s economic vision will help position regional NSW as the
‘delicatessen of Asia’; supplying high quality produce and fibre to insatiable lucrative markets.
“To compete in global markets, NSW farmers, exporters and manufacturers need access to efficient freight networks – hauling produce from ‘paddock or plant to port’ can no longer be an exercise in battling bottlenecks on out-dated infrastructure,” said Mr Dalla Valle.
Mr Dalla Valle said the government’s 20-year economic vision for regional NSW builds on existing programs like the $400 million Fixing Country Rail Initiative, $400 million duplication of Port Botany Rail Line and ongoing major upgrades to the Country Regional Rail Network.
“Moving bulk freight by rail is safer, more efficient and better for the environment – it also helps to provide secure, long term jobs; particularly in regional communities like Parkes.
“Rail freight is on the right side of every debate, and I believe regional NSW is now in the midst of a rail renaissance,” said Mr Dalla Valle.