A SPRAWLING $32 million freight terminal at Bromelton, the first major project at the long-awaited industrial precinct, is set to open on January 15 next year.
Rail company SCT Logistics confirmed the target date on Wednesday during an event to mark the start of earthmoving works at the 135-hectare site near Beaudesert.
The freight terminal is expected to be an economic driver for Scenic Rim, starting with the creation of 125 jobs in construction, 120 permanent jobs once in operation next year and eventually 1000 jobs when the project is complete.
SCT Logistics is jointly funding the freight terminal with Scenic Rim Regional Council, which secured $9.6 million in federal government funding in 2015 to kickstart the development
Initially, the project will include a 9000 square metre warehouse with an internal rail line and a storage area capable of housing containers stacked three-high.
A total of 7.6 kilometres of rail track will be built and trains initially using the facility will be about 1.5 kilometres in length.
SCT Logistics executive chairman Peter Smith said the freight terminal, which he vowed would be open for business on January 15, 2017, would act as an impetus for growth in the region.
“Most of these land areas don’t mean a lot until you start putting infrastructure into it,” he said.
“Once you start putting rail infrastructure in to the magnitude of what we will put in here, not only will it create jobs in the area, it will drive more development and we will eventually establish more warehouses and manufacturing here,” he said.
In more good news for the local economy, Beaudesert-based civil company Trade Alliance has won the tender to construct the terminal.
Trade Alliance chief financial officer Colette Montgomery said the fact a local company secured the tender meant the funding would stay in the Scenic Rim economy.
“So often and too often, the money from these projects leave the shires that fund them,” she said.
“But in this instance, all the money will trickle down, local businesses and suppliers will benefit, the shoe shops, the butchers, fuel stations, the staff, it will help build the Scenic Rim.”
Trade Alliance, which currently comprises 30 staff, will be responsible for the initial civil works including the rail line, roads, drainage and bulk haulage.
Ms Montgomery said Trade Alliance was keen to source local people for the jobs and had already started advertising positions.
Wright MP Scott Buchholz said the development would create opportunities for Scenic Rim well into the future.
This projects goes to the heart of jobs and growth. It grows businesses, it grows our community and it definitely provides the jobs,” he said.
He said the development would provide confidence for the region’s economy, currently gripped by high unemployment and a lack of skills.