Work will start early next year on what will become Melbourne’s biggest intermodal terminal following an agreement made by developer Salta Properties and the Victorian government to jointly fund the Dandenong South infrastructure project.
The deal involves a $28 million investment by both the federal and Victorian governments on government-owned land to connect rail to Salta’s boundary site, a move the Victorian government says is in line with the state’s status as a top Australian destination for containerised freight.
The deal is said to reduce traffic congestion and remove container transport trucks off the Monash Freeway and arterial roads in Melbourne’s Southeast, and would see the facility connected directly with the Port of Melbourne.
Salta will also invest more than $50 million to construct the Dandenong South Intermodal Terminal which would see it located on Salta’s 180-hectare estate, Nexus, in Dandenong South.
The Nexus estate is currently home to Woolworths’ regional distribution centre, Bunnings’ 40,000sq m distribution centre, along with logistics businesses Visa Global and Silk Contract Logistics.
Salta says the value of new development on the estate is expected to be worth more than $1 billion over the next three to five years, with the project’s first phase expected to take 24 months from works starting and would include the laying of 800 metres of rail track.
Salta founding director Sam Tarascio said the deal was a culmination of more than 15 years of the company’s plans to increase freight capacity in the outer Melbourne area.
“This has been a long-term project, where we set out to work with industry and government to provide the best possible inland port infrastructure to Melbourne’s southeast,” Tarascio said.
“We have been working extensively with the state government to get to this point and it's satisfying to know that the facility will be connected directly with the Port of Melbourne.”
Construction of the rail tracks and container terminal is expected to generate employment in the Dandenong area, with up to 1000 construction jobs and 1800 indirect construction jobs, local government says.
The terminal will eventually have storage facilities for both empty and full containers comprising up to 110,000 square metres.
“Not only will this benefit local business and industry, but will also provide new employment opportunities for residents across the southeast region,” City of Greater Dandenong mayor Jim Memeti said of the project.
Along with construction roles, Salta anticipates the project will create up to 1600 ongoing direct jobs and 4,500 ongoing indirect jobs.