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A PROPOSED expansion of the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal hopes to tap into possible mining operations in the region.
Wimmera farmers and Horsham Rural City Council are pushing for funding to expand the freight terminal after ongoing congestion issues.
Mining company WIM Resource has proposed a mineral sands mine in the area, which it expects to bring into production by 2021.
Grain Producers Australia chairman and Rupanyup farmer Andrew Weidemann said if the freight terminal could tap into the mining market, the site would have throughput all year round. "It would be a win-win situation," he said.
Mr Weidemann has been lobbying the government for $24 million to expand the terminal.
"The idea is to build enough capacity at the freight terminal to encourage other investment, like mining," Mr Weidemann said.
The Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal is experiencing historically low volumes of freight at the moment because of dry seasonal conditions.
"We aren't farming for drought though, we are farming for the future," Mr Weidemann said.
"We are processing hay and grain in the region, but we need more throughput."
Mr Weidemann said there would be no issues with contamination if a mineral sands mine was situated next to the terminal.
Council technical services director John Martin said the proposed mine wouldn't affect the expansion of the terminal.
"A planned outcome of the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal industrial precinct development is to cater to mineral sands operations on the site, either in terms of storage or processing," he said.
Mr Martin said there wasn't a risk of contamination between the mine and the freight terminal.
"The overall precinct is laid out in a way that provides appropriate separation between mining and grain handling businesses," he said.
This article first appeared on www.mailtimes.com.au
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