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THE future of Patrick PortLink’s rail freight terminal at Kelso is in doubt.
Patrick has advised Bathurst Regional Council its local operation could close as soon as the end of the month.
The Bathurst Rail Intermodal Terminal only opened two years ago.
It employs five local people.
When it opened in March 2007 it was anticipated the terminal would become a major hub for freight distribution across western NSW.
The plan was to attract more freight onto the rails making the road trip across the Blue Mountains safer.
At its opening Patrick PortLink’s general manager Geoff Sundstrom said having a terminal in the city would encourage businesses to relocate to Bathurst as importers and exporters took advantage of the direct rail access to Sydney.
Those possibilities seem all but lost now.
Mayor Paul Toole said company representatives have recently had discussions with council on the possibility that Patrick PortLink will be pulling out of the region.
“The amount of freight coming through the terminal is still very high, but outside issues threaten Patrick’s longevity here,” Cr Toole said.
“Council will continue to have discussions with them regarding these issues in the hope that some of them can be worked out,” he said.
Cr Toole said having a freight terminal operating out of Bathurst brings economic benefits to the region and he would hate to see it close.
“I hope the issues can be resolved and the terminal continues to operate,” Cr Toole said.
By establishing an intermodal terminal in Bathurst the company was able to consolidate export freight from areas including Dubbo, Trangie, Warren, Forbes, Oberon, Orange and Bathurst for transport by rail to Port Botany.
Bathurst was deemed to be ideally suited for this kind of project. Patrick PortLink was not returning phone calls from the Adovcate yesterday.
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