New and improved access for freight in the Riverina
Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay and the Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson yesterday officially opened the $1.3 million project to shift and rebuild 1.3 kilometres of Byrnes Road in Harefield, south of Junee.
Mr Gay said the 150 metre shift in Byrnes Road will boost freight efficiency in the region by reducing travel times for road transport operators carrying freight to be transferred to and from rail at Harefield Intermodal Terminal.
“Before the road was realigned, road transport operators when leaving the terminal were not able to turn right on to Byrnes Road because they would block the railway crossing.
“Road transport operators had to turn left out of the terminal and take a 10 kilometre detour to get in and out of Harefield.
“Up to 15 minutes will now be cut off each trip resulting in annual transport cost savings of $500,000 and annual cumulative travel time savings of almost 5,000 hours.
“The intermodal terminal handles a large share of container freight in the region, predominantly cardboard products from the Visy Pulp and Paper mill in Tumut which are transported across Australia to local businesses, and to ports to export.
“This newly built section of road makes it easier for local freight operators to get in and out of the terminal, encouraging more businesses such as Visy Pulp and Paper to use rail instead of heavy vehicles on local roads for the long haul.
“Today is a great day for freight in the region because in addition to the opening of this important Fixing Country Roads project the Deputy Premier Troy Grant is also in the region launching the Western Riverina Intermodal Freight Terminal.”
Member for Cootamundra Katrina Hodgkinson said Junee Shire Council, Qube Logistics and Visy Pulp and Paper all recognised the benefits of providing direct access in and out of the Harefield intermodal and invested in the project.
“Junee Shire Council initiated this local road project and did a great job of managing it. The newly built road has improved road safety for all local residents and will support the future growth of regional industries and towns in the Riverina,” Ms Hodgkinson said.
“By building this section of road, road transport operators can get in and out of the region more easily, which means the terminal has the capacity to expand further.”
“Whether you’re a farmer, truckie, freight operator, owner of a livestock or grain business, or a resident in a neighbouring local community – you are set to benefit from this newly built section of road.”
The Byrnes Road realignment was funded by contributions of $200,000 from Visy Pulp and Paper, $100,000 from Qube Logistics, $500,000 from Junee Shire Council and $500,000 from the NSW Government.