State body to hear intermodal freight fears

Serenity at risk: Wattle Grove resident Allan Corben said he is concerned that the peaceful environment of the suburb will be ruined by a container terminal planned for neighbouring Moorebank. Picture: Simon Bennett

Serenity at risk: Wattle Grove resident Allan Corben said he is concerned that the peaceful environment of the suburb will be ruined by a container terminal planned for neighbouring Moorebank. Picture: Simon Bennett

WATTLE Grove resident Allan Corben lives with the daily fear he may soon have a "monstrosity" built less than 400 metres away from his home.

Mr Corben and fellow residents who oppose the freight terminals planned for two sites in nearby Moorebank will have the chance to share their thoughts about one of the proposals at a Planning and Assessment Commission public meeting at the Wattle Grove Community Centre on July 31.

Mr Corben, 69, who moved to the suburb to retire, said he was worried about the effect the projects would have on the health of the people living there.

"This would have been a great idea 40 years ago." Mr Corben said. It's close to the Southern Sydney Freight Line and major roads and there's a lot of government land there," Mr Corben said.

"But things have changed since then; there's been a lot of development here.

"You can't have developments like this in a residential area."

Moorebank is the site of two proposed intermodal freight terminal projects, one on a 220-hectare site owned by the federal government and the other on an 80-hectare site owned by private conglomerate, the Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA).

The two organisations recently announced they had entered into negotiations to see if they could draft a combined project plan.

The second project, which is closer to Wattle Grove residents' homes, seems less likely to go ahead because, according to the state government, the present freight capacity, including the newly built nearby Southern Sydney Freight Line can sustain only one terminal.

The larger site is still expected to hold up to 1.5 million containers and create more than 20,000 local truck movements.

The meeting at the end of the month will be held to give residents the opportunity to comment on the SIMTA proposal.

Mr Corben said that effect on his suburb and the health of its residents would be immense.

"This is just completely the wrong place for this project," he said.

"It will lead to heavy diesel emissions on a daily basis and that can cause a lot of health problems, including cancer."

Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun said Liverpool Council continued to oppose the freight terminals and had recently launched a radio and online campaign against the projects.

"The increase in traffic will significantly affect the lifestyle of local residents, and commuters on major roads," Cr Mannoun said.

Cr Mannoun said the development would lead to an extra truck being on local roads every eight seconds.

A letter SIMTA sent to residents about the meeting said that the NSW Department of Planning and Environment had completed its assessment of their application and had now referred it to the Planning Assessment Commission for determination.

"This is a final opportunity for you to comment on the Department's assessment and recommended conditions of approval, before a decision is made," the letter said.

The council has a link on their Liverpool Listens forum, at listens.liverpool.nsw.gov.au.

The public meeting will be held from 4pm at Wattle Grove Community Centre, 8 Village Way, Wattle Grove. To register to speak call Rebecca Chungue, 9383 2112 by 1pm, July 25.

Details: pac.nsw.gov.au (ref D306/14).

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