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The Victorian Opposition has backed the establishment of the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen, which is designed to maintain the state’s competitiveness in the grain export market.
The $16.75 million project, which has been described by Victorian Transport Minister Terry Mulder as a “vital” element in the freight supply chain, will facilitate a 23.5 hectare terminal and process up to 18,600 containers within five to six years.
The state-of-the-art facility will replace the aged terminal at Horsham and provide the grain, pulse and oilseed industries in the Wimmera region with a direct export facility.
Grain harvest in the region topped 2.5 million tonnes last year.
Opposition transport spokeswoman Jacinta Allan says the project will create more jobs in the Wimmera region and open up business opportunities.
The Victorian Government has set aside $8.75 million towards the project, with the Horsham Rural City Council contributing $750,000 and private sector kicking in $750,000. The Federal Government is providing $6.5 million.
Meanwhile, the government will soon reopen the 66km Dimboola to Rainbow section of the Yaapeet rail line, allowing a further 120,000 tonnes of Victorian grain to be transported by rail from early next year.
Mulder says the project is great news for grain growers and the future of rail freight in Victoria. V/Line will shortly commence upgrading the line, which is due to be completed by the end of next year.
GrainCorp will contribute more than $1 million to the $6.3 million rail project and will also upgrade its grain handling site at Rainbow with a $2 million investment.
“This will ensure that both grain trains loading grain and farmers’ trucks unloading grain can turn around more quickly,” Mulder says.
“The improvements will help carry 120,000 tonnes of grain expected to be harvested within the catchment area of the Dimboola to Rainbow line during the 2011-12 season.”
Mulder says the Yaapeet line was last used to regularly haul grain in 2006 and was temporarily reopened in 2010,
“The condition of the line deteriorated in recent years. Further damage occurred in the floods earlier this year,” he says.
Mulder says the government will retain the 17km section of track from Rainbow to Yaapeet but “it will not be reopened at this time”.
“While the Coalition Government will be retaining the 17-kilometre section of track from Rainbow to Yaapeet, it will not be reopened at this time.”
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