Beveridge Intermodal Precinct Moves Steps Forward with Federal Government Acquisition

The Australian Government owned National Intermodal Corporation has exercised an option to acquire land at Beveridge, previously identified as suitable for the northern terminal connection to Inland Rail.

The site when developed, will have the ability to offer the efficiency of double-stacked services for 1,800-metre freight trains to Perth (via Parkes) as well as Brisbane (upon completion of Inland Rail). It will also enable a more efficient rail service connection into the Federal Government supported Moorebank Interstate Terminal in Sydney, due for operation in less than 12 months.

Next steps for the terminal will be guided by the Inland Rail Review undertaken by Dr Schott AO and the Australian Governmentโ€™s response. Early planning is underway to support potential interstate rail services at Beveridge as soon as possible, with full terminal and precinct warehouse operations by 2028/29. The precinct will also see upgrades to key road corridors including the Camerons Lane/Hume Highway intersection.

National Intermodal has also announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Aurizon as the foundation customer for the Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal.

Mr Baulderstone, CEO of National Intermodal said: โ€œAcquiring the land at Beveridge is an important milestone in the development of Melbourneโ€™s modern, efficient intermodal terminals. The Beveridge terminal when operational will greatly enhance the resilience of our national supply chain.โ€

โ€œWe have been pleased with industriesโ€™ interest, both as a customer and also partner in the development of Melbourne intermodal terminals. Aurizonโ€™s interest in the Beveridge terminal is a genuine demonstration of industry support for new, independent, interstate terminal capacity.โ€

โ€œWe will continue our engagement with other industry participants who have expressed significant interest in the Beveridge Intermodal Precinct and who share the vision of a revitalised rail freight sector delivering enhanced resilience and lower costs to Australian businesses and families.โ€

โ€œWe look forward to working closely with all stakeholders including the Mitchell Shire and Whittlesea Councils to unlock job opportunities in future construction and operations for the growing communities in Melbourneโ€™s north who will be integral to the delivery of this precinct,โ€ Mr Baulderstone said.

Qube welcomed the National intermodal Corporationโ€™s (National Intermodal) announcement as the option with the landowner was originally held by Qube in September 2018 but was acquired by National Intermodal in December 2021. Under the agreement, National Intermodal also agreed that if it exercised the option, Qube would then have an option to acquire up to 200Ha of the developable area.

Qubeโ€™s option to acquire expires no earlier than 27 February 2024.

Qube Managing Director, Paul Digney, said: โ€œWeโ€™re pleased that National Intermodal has exercised its option to acquire the land necessary for the future development of a new intermodal facility with associated warehousing at Beveridge. This will be vital both to the development of Inland Rail and to the creation of better linkages to national and global markets for Australiaโ€™s industries and regions.

โ€œThe expansion of Australiaโ€™s freight infrastructure is critical to supporting economic growth, and moving more freight on rail will help reduce road congestion and contribute to the task of reducing emissions in the transport sector.โ€

Mr Digney said that Qube intended to continue to assess the opportunity for investment at Beveridge as part of its broader intermodal rail strategy, in order to determine what role Qube should play to maximise value for its shareholders. This may include investment directly by Qube or in conjunction with suitable partners. No significant investment is expected to be undertaken by Qube in respect of the Beveridge development in the short to medium term.

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