$400 million freight terminal coming to Somerton

February 16, 2023

Industry News

Words by Millicent Spencer, Northern Star Weekly

Somerton will be home to a $400 million freight terminal by 2025 under a new privately funded plan.

The Intermodal Terminal Company (ITC) which is backed by Aware Super, announced today it would soon start construction of the Somerton Intermodal Terminal.

The new terminal will form a part of the federal and state governments’ Port Rail Shuttle Network which will transport containers by rail from Somerton, Altona, and Dandenong South to the port of Melbourne.

The hubs will allow trucks in outer suburbs to deliver or pick up containers instead of driving to the Port of Melbourne.

When at capacity, ITC expects the Somerton terminal to take 500,000 truck trips off Melbourne’s roads – equivalent to 454 million truck kilometres.

ITC founder and chief executive Mishkel Maharaj said she was delighted to announce the terminal which will be independently constructed, maintained, and operated by the company.

“We’re especially pleased that once operational, the terminal will deliver additional benefits to the people of Melbourne every single day of its operation – through reduced carbon emissions and air pollution, reduced road congestion, and improved road safety,” she said.

Both state and federal Labor welcomed the announcement of the terminal which will create approximately 190 jobs during construction and a further 50 permanent jobs for locals once in operation.

Victorian ports and freight minister Melissa Horne said the private investment in the terminal will “supercharge job creation” while also supporting her government’s commitment to move more freight by rail to port.

“These direct rail connections will get trucks off roads, increase safety, reduce emissions, and cut the cost of doing business for producers, farmers, exporters, and operators,” she said.

The Victorian Liberals also welcomed today’s announcement which comes after years of disagreement between Labor and the coalition to build a freight terminal in Beveridge.

Northern Metropolitan MP Evan Mulholland said this announcement was outstanding news for local jobs and traffic congestion in Melbourne’s north.

“Federal and state Labor both abandoned the Beveridge Intermodal Freight Terminal and prioritised the western suburbs, so it is good to see the private sector stepping up where Labor failed,” he said.

“After years of talking down the project, it is pleasing to see that Labor are finally talking up the economic benefits of the inland rail project, kickstarted by the former federal coalition government.”

Construction of the new terminal will commence soon at the Austrack Business Park.