Freight giants Aurizon will build a $40 million freight terminal in Stuart, near Townsville, which State Development Minister Anthony Lynham says shows that private enterprise can do its bit for the job crisis in the North.
As part of the project a signalised intersection at the Stuart Bypass, which connects the Flinders Highway to the Bruce Highway, will be also built to help heavy vehicles access the Port easier from the two highways, reducing congestion.
Minister for Transport Stirling Hinchcliffe says the project will be another major boost for the economy.
“Through projects like this, we can continue to make rail freight an even more attractive option for producers, and continue to connect the region with both social and economic opportunities across the state,” Mr Hinchcliffe says.
“The ability for producers and the resources and manufacturing sectors to easily move goods out of Queensland to the point of sale is something that will keep investment and jobs coming into Queensland into the future.”
Aurizon Managing Director & CEO Lance Hockridge says they’re delighted to be providing crucial infrastructure to the region.
“This project will inject millions of dollars into the local economy and provide a range of benefits to our customers and to the local community,” Mr Hockridge says.
An Aurizon spokesperson says the project will have key connections to the north-west rail corridor, which links Mt Isa to Townsville, which passes Charters Towers.
“There will be no change in the number of trains between Mount Isa and Townsville however the new terminal will enable more efficiencies such as being able to move product between trains quicker and reducing trucking movements through the terminal.”
It’s another boost for jobs in North Queensland with My Lynham saying the project, at its peak, will create 120 jobs.
“It’s a welcome sign of positivity on the local economic scene after a tough few weeks.”
Minister Assisting the Premier on North Queensland Coralee O’Rourke shadows those thoughts saying this project among others, including the Accelerated Works Program the Premier announced recently, is looking to provide former workers of Queensland Nickel new jobs.
“Our focus remains these workers and their families, finding ways to get them new jobs and opportunities in Townsville,” Ms O’Rourke says.
“We are providing regular information to more than 200 people who have registered with our worker transition service and our one-on-one case managers have had almost 40 contacts from redundant employees and their families.”