By TONY FOSTER
Mayor of Brighton
JUST a few days ago, I was delighted to participate in the official opening of Toll Transport’s new Brighton headquarters marking a major milestone in the establishment of southern Tasmania’s new Transport Hub.
This $24-million plus investment in southern freight infrastructure provides a major boost for our Brighton Industrial Estate and underlines the importance of our municipality in Tasmania’s economic growth and development.
Toll is Tasmania’s biggest freight carrier and this multi-million investment to move its operations from Macquarie Point in Hobart, is a strong sign of confidence in Brighton and in particular, in our Industrial Estate and the Transport Hub.
The official opening of the Toll facility is the realisation of many years of vision, perseverance, hard work by many at Council, and perhaps a little frustration on my part. Brighton has long advocated the establishment of the Industrial Estate and the Transport Hub and many past and present Council officers and indeed Councillors have worked long and hard to see this through.
Some 17 years ago, I stood on Dudley Clark’s industrial land with then Premier, Tony Rundle and announced that this would be the site of Brighton’s Transport Hub for southern Tasmania. Seventeen years ago it was visionary and it was perseverance and not a little effort that got us to where we are today.
Council’s investment in road infrastructure, water and sewerage works has totalled more than $500,000, a clear indication we are very serious about this being the centre for transport for this part of the State, as well as an indication that we know it will bring significant benefits to Brighton.
Some years ago we began an intensive marketing campaign to highlight to prospective businesses the attraction of the Industrial Estate and how convenient the Transport Hub is for their transport needs linking them to the rest of the State. Two of the initial re-locaters to the Industrial Estate were Tasbulk and SRT Logistics and many more business have since joined them. We thank all those businesses for their faith in us, and commitment to our municipality. They all now stand to reap the rewards from their foresight.
Toll’s investment is not insignificant. The main building is some 14.6 square metres comprising a warehouse, crossdock, drive-through area and workshop. The development also contains a temperature-controlled store, main office building, truck wash building, dangerous goods store and a pedestrian overpass linking the car park to the warehouse/freight forwarding building. The facility operates 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week and employs 125 staff, which in itself is providing a major boost to our municipality’s economy through employees moving closer to their employer and also providing work for local people. The development has the capacity to accommodate 73 parked trailers and approximately 288 external containers. The enhanced economic activity will, in turn, generate more employment opportunities for the people of our municipality and increased rate revenue that in turn can be used by Council to maintain and improve services throughout Brighton.
Importantly, as a result of this development, we will see more freight moving between the north and south of the State via rail, lessening the movement of heavy trucks on the Midland Highway.
With Toll now firmly established as the anchor tenant in the Transport Hub, Brighton Council is gearing up to launch the latest phase of our intensive marketing campaign to encourage other businesses to consider re-locating to the Industrial Estate and to make the most of the benefits that this entails. At the same time, we are grateful for Toll’s vote of confidence in our community and we are confident that this will be the latest, but not the last, major economic development initiative for our municipality.