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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2018
94 COMPANY PROFILE X COMPANY PROFILE The Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail line will transform freight movement in Australia – and Parkes will be central to this opportunity. Parkes is located in central New South Wales, and is uniquely positioned at the intersection of the east-west rail line, the north-south Newell Highway and soon, the new $10-billion Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail. Parkes’s central location will be a game changer in the way freight is moved around Australia. It is the only place along the new Inland Rail where it all comes together, with major logistics, manufacturing, warehousing, agricultural value-adding and distribution opportunities now being offered. Parkes is capitalising on its potential to become a major national transport node. Already, more than 80 per cent of Australia’s population can be reached in less than 12 hours from Parkes, creating a valuable competitive advantage for companies looking to develop logistics, distribution and manufacturing operations. ‘The [Parkes National Logistics] Hub at Parkes has been in planning for decades, as Parkes is geographically located in the centre of New South Wales and at the epicentre of the national transport and logistics network. Inland Rail will be a catalyst to change freight movement in Australia,’ says Parkes Shire Council Mayor Ken Keith OAM. ‘Parkes is at the centre of that change and represents a significant opportunity for business to take advantage of improvements in freight efficiency.’ ‘The announcement by the federal government to start construction on Inland Rail has led directly to investment in Parkes, with Pacific National in October 2017 committing an initial $35 million to commence development of the company’s Parkes Logistics Terminal, which is set to be one of the largest private sector investments in freight infrastructure in regional Australia,’ says Mayor Keith. Once fully operational, Pacific National’s Parkes Logistics Terminal will have the capacity to process approximately 450,000 cargo containers each year, including the ability to haul double-stacked containers from Parkes to Perth. Pacific National’s initial $35-million investment includes $18 million to start developing the terminal site and $17 million to acquire ‘rolling stock’, such as freight wagons. The Parkes National Logistics Hub is one of the largest greenfield intermodal sites in New South Wales and a project of strategic importance to the freight industry. Parkes Shire Council prides itself on proactively developing Parkes’s future in logistics. It is strengthening its transport infrastructure, lifting the region’s profile with new strategic marketing campaigns, and working to facilitate collaboration between transport companies and governments. Mayor Keith says, ‘Parkes Shire Council is a progressive and innovative organisation that embraces new ideas, and has adopted a philosophy of continuous improvement. We are not experts in transport, logistics or manufacturing, but we are experts in collaboration, advocacy and facilitation. Our aim is to connect businesses with opportunity’. Innovation drives Parkes National Logistics Hub With New South Wales Government approval, 516 hectares of land was rezoned by the council on the western edge of town for the Parkes National Logistics Hub. Another 100 hectares has been reserved for future development. The Hub has been designed to operate 24/7 as a multimodal transport facility with buffer zones, and has attracted leading logistics companies such as Linfox, Pacific National and SCT Logistics. Other transport, warehousing and manufacturing companies are showing strong interest in the Hub. SCT Logistics CEO Glenn Smith says, ‘When the Inland Rail is completed, one of the great aspects of Parkes will be the ability to receive trains from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne ports, and even Adelaide ports – they are all overnight by rail (to Parkes). SCT sees great opportunities for importers, exporters and manufacturers, who have a requirement to move freight efficiently. Parkes – centre of Australia’s transport future 503206E_Parkes I 2389.indd 24 7/5/18 12:19 pm