Victoria’s Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford has announced the next step in the Ararat freight and logistics hub, with the appointment of strategic consulting firm WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.
WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff will undertake a feasibility study on developing a freight and logistics hub in Ararat.
The study will identify Ararat’s role and function in Victoria’s freight network and examine the opportunity for developing a transport and industry hub in the Ararat City Council local government area.
Ararat is located on a major road freight route from Adelaide to Melbourne at the junction of the Western and Pyrenees highways.
Ararat also has an existing rail service and direct rail access to Victoria’s major ports. The proposed hub would move produce to local, interstate and international markets more quickly and efficiently.
Not only is its location critical to the movement of freight throughout the region and the state, it is situated in a prime agricultural region for grain, livestock, and wine production.
The study will provide accurate data and analysis about the need for a freight and logistics hub and analyse its potential benefits, including:
- Reduced costs due to improved efficiency.
- A centralised point for North-South and East-West interchange.
- The ability to offload onto larger or smaller vehicles.
- The ability for transport firms to use Ararat as a logistics centre.
- The ability to backfill loads, reducing costs.
- Access for High Productivity Freight Vehicles.
WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff is a multi-disciplinary consultancy that regularly provides strategic advice to government and private companies.
Ararat Rural City Council has identified the importance of freight and logistics to the region in its Municipal Strategic Statement. The council will manage the project, working closely with VicRoads, VicTrack and the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport, and Resources.
The government is providing $100,000 towards the study from its $500 million Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, which supports initiatives across regional and rural Victoria that build critical infrastructure, secure jobs, invest in communities and support new and emerging technology.