Phillip Imrie and John McMahon, pictured with planning consultant Stephen Fletcher (middle) have a blueprint for Casino’s future.
Phillip Imrie and John McMahon, pictured with planning consultant Stephen Fletcher (middle) have a blueprint for Casino’s future.

Casino moving on NR industry

CASINO is on a mission to raid the region of its industries and make itself the industrial capital of the Northern Rivers.

Last week, a development application to build a $12.7 million rail terminal was lodged with Richmond Valley Council.

The Northern Co-operative Meat Company, Riverina Stock Feeds and Forest Enterprises Australia (FEA) have all thrown their support behind the Summerdowns Rail Terminal project.

Its developers, John McMahon, of Casino, and Phillip Imrie, of Sydney, are hoping Norco, in Lismore, and Sunny Brand Chickens, in Byron Bay, might make the move to Casino to use the terminal.

“With the rail terminal it will all be there for them,” Mr Imrie said.

There are hopes, too, that FEA would build its timber processing plant in Casino, a project Kyogle has its heart set on, to use the terminal.

“It makes sense that it would be near the terminal,” Mr Imrie said.

When harvesting of the region’s timber plantations was in full swing, in about 2020, it was expected about one million tonnes would be freighted out each year, Mr Imrie said.

“You don’t want that amount of freight on the road,” he said.

“Rail freight is the way of the future.”

Mr McMahon said, although FEA was in financial trouble, the timber would have to be harvested. Industries will get their goods to the terminal either by road freight or by building rail sidings into the terminal.

Riverina, the meat works and the cattle saleyards could build sidings directly into the terminal, Mr Imrie said.

From the terminal, it is expected two 750m long trains or a single 1550m train will depart for Brisbane daily and one long train will head southward to Sydney or Melbourne every two to three days.

The rail terminal would generate jobs and business activity in Casino, the developers have claimed.

“It will provide leverage to activities in the North Coast precinct,” Mr Imrie said.

“It will attract industries to Casino.”

The terminal, which will employ 10 people full-time, is promising to reduce road freight through the town by as many as 150 trucks per day.

The terminal will connect to the main rail line at Casino and from there freight will travel to destinations and ports around Australia.

Previously the Richmond Valley Council general manager Brian Wilkinson said the council was very keen to see the proposal go ahead and supported the overall concept.



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