CASINO is about to step forward as a leading hybrid agriculture and industrial hub with a $95 million project that will bring hundreds of jobs to the region.
The Pacific Intermodal and Industrial Hub project has been in the making for 10 years, but is now gaining traction.
The project will see a 360,000sqm rail distribution hub built at the freight cross-section east of Nammoona Rail line, Summerland Way and south of the Reynolds Road industrial estate at Casino.
According to Richmond Valley Council's analysis of the $95 million project, it would bring 334 jobs and $30 million in wages and salaries.
The intermodal hub is designed to efficiently transfer freight between transport modes such as road and rail, as well as providing warehousing, cold stores and associated storage facilities, managing an expected one million tonnes of freight every year.
John Wright, the former director of Primex, is part of the group behind the proposal to build Pacific Intermodal Casino.
Mr Wright said the project will be an opportunity for a successful rail and road integrated hub, and a primary base for agricultural and industrial businesses looking for rail supply chain efficiencies.
"After many years hearing businesses tell us their major struggles were the cost of transport, road traffic constraints, difficulty expanding manufacturing facilities and direct access to the ports for international business we decided that we could offer a solution with an intermodal at Casino," Mr Wright said.
"We saw a number of our large exhibitors move from Casino to access the rail line elsewhere, and we need to keep investing and diversifying the business opportunities in the region - so we started the Pacific Intermodal project."
The company conducted research which indicated that there were cost savings for businesses.
Mr Wright said the research was supported by other reports by Regional Development Australia, Richmond Valley Council and NSW Government where a rail freight terminal at Casino forms part of the Strategic Planning documents.
"We are really proud to see the work we have been doing for the past 10 years on this project result in government acknowledgement and support for infrastructure ... now it's time to make it happen," he said.
The next phase of the project is to secure formal expressions of interest from any business considering moving freight by rail, particularly those looking to acquire/lease industrial space and utilise the rail access.
To register your interest and for more information contact Liz Marshall, project manager for Pacific Intermodal and Industrial Hub project, on 0415 460 989.