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Testimonial: Successful relocation of the Townsville South rail yards to the Townsville SDA

In 2014 Aurizon announced their intention to relocate their Townsville South rail yards from the Townsville central business district (CBD) to Aurizon's Stuart Yard within the Townsville State Development Area (SDA), 20 minutes south of Townsville.

Paul Hoffman, Aurizon TownsvilleThe Stuart Intermodal Facility project included construction of a freight distribution centre, a modern container terminal, three new rail tracks specifically designed for intermodal operations and a road link and intersection at Stuart Bypass Road.

Paul Hoffmann, Head of Project Management at Aurizon, said Aurizon could see the strong merits of consolidating industrial and transport facilities, and associated infrastructure to the Townsville SDA, with easy access to major transport corridors and the port of Townsville.

The Townsville SDA is strategically located with key connections to the North Coast Rail Corridor, North West Rail Corridor and Stuart Bypass Road providing a heavy vehicle link between the Bruce Highway and the Flinders Highway.

In August 2015 the Coordinator-General approved the material change of use for a freight terminal subject to conditions. Paul said the coordinated approach, facilitated by the Office of the Coordinator-General, was important to achieving the delivery of the project approval for Aurizon by ensuring key referral entities and the general community was adequately consulted.

“The Coordinator-General's SDA team worked with Aurizon to ensure the assessment of potential impacts to the Townsville SDA and the surrounding community were pragmatic and targeted, resulting in overall savings in terms of time and cost.”

Paul acknowledged the regular contact with the SDA team provided a forum for discussion of any emerging issues or concerns during the evolution of the design for the new intermodal facility, ensuring that the SDA approval was issued in a timely manner.

The move was supported by the Townsville City Council and the Queensland Government as it allows for the future redevelopment and rejuvenation of central Townsville and removed approximately 100 trucks per day from Townsville CBD.

“Aurizon's experience with the Stuart Intermodal Facility demonstrated that the Townsville SDA offered definite economic benefits to business, industry and the North Queensland community.” Paul said.

Aurizon's Stuart Intermodal Facility was delivered on budget and ahead of schedule at the end of 2016.