THE Tasmanian Government has advertised nationally for expressions of interest in operating the $79-million Brighton transport hub in Brighton.
The hub, expected to be operational by September 2011, will provide a modern road-rail interchange and freight distribution centre to improve the efficiency of freight movement into and out of southern Tasmania, especially to the northern ports.
The Government is also seeking expressions of interest in the development of land located at the new hub which it is proposed to set aside for industrial development.
Companies or consortia with the necessary expertise are being invited to submit responses for either or both opportunities.
The Government’s preference is to appoint a single entity for both functions, but if suitable submissions are not received the functions may be split between two entities.
Although there is currently a 48-hour turnaround time for rail freight between Hobart and the northern ports, it has been estimated that the relocation of freight operations to Brighton would result in an overall time saving of 4 hours 40 minutes per return trip.
Analysis shows that a significant proportion of current road freight could switch to rail if the cost and reliability of rail were enhanced, especially given the anticipated substantial increase in Tasmanian freight requirements.
The objectives of this project include achieving lower transport costs for Tasmanian businesses and consumers, reducing road congestion in the Greater Hobart area and developing the Hub as a catalyst for the economic development of the Brighton area with positive employment outcomes.
Advertisements calling for expressions of interest appeared in Tasmanian and national last month with a deadline for lodging submissions of June 24.