SEQ’s futuristic ‘inland freight port’ takes first steps
Brisbane Times, 28 July 2015
Southeast Queensland's futuristic "inland port" – straddling the interstate rail line between Brisbane and Melbourne ports and allowing 15000 hectares for future industry – is about to become a reality. The inland port is at Bromelton – six kilometres west of Beaudesert – and part of the 15,000 hectare Bromelton State Development Area announced eight years ago in 2007.
Today it is a park with four businesses, but planners estimate it could host 15,000 jobs in freight and heavy industry in 20 years time.
Anna Bligh in 2007, then-treasurer and infrastructure minister, made the announcement as a way of generating future industrial land for Southeast Queensland.
In those days Queensland was making its first attempts to tackle population growth, promising 250,000 people would live in one of three new cities; Ripley, Upper Flagstone and Yarrabilba near Logan and Beaudesert.
In 2007 Bromelton was one of two industrial areas identified to provide jobs for this future population growth. Ebenezer, near Ipswich, was the second.
"Bromelton is currently the only future industrial land in South East Queensland with direct access to the national standard gauge railway system and is of great strategic importance," Ms Bligh said in 2007.
Today – eight years on – major property managers Eureka Funds Management – owners of Indooroopilly Shopping Town – and Mirvac have quietly acquired sizeable land parcels at Bromelton.
Queensland Urban Utilities – the water infrastructure utility – has also recently bought a large portion of land at Bromelton, and commercial water supply agreements are being negotiated.
And Queensland Transport in 2014 began a $27.5 million Beaudesert Bypass making sure heavy vehicles will be able to access the future industrial site without clogging Beaudesert by mid-2016.
Now one of Southeast Queensland's smaller councils will waive the first $400,000 in infrastructure charges to lure the first new businesses to Southeast Queensland's "inland port."
Scenic Rim mayor John Brent will on Wednesday offer a $400,000 infrastructure charge discount to lure other business incentives to the futuristic industrial park
"We will rule out the first $400,000 in infrastructure charges until December 2016 as a genuine incentive," Cr Brent said.
"It represents a saving on potential project costs which is a significant incentive to break ground," Cr Brent said.
"This is an overall jobs jumps start incentive for the Scenic Rim and hopefully it will create the incentive to businesses to supercharge what else is already happened," Cr Brent said.
The industrial park is on the interstate rail line, which is dual gauge from Bromelton in to the Port of Brisbane, Cr Brent said.
The long-serving regional mayor said fellow mayors have had recent discussions with the Australian Rail Track Corporation and the proposed inland rail line would also pass through the futuristic industrial park.
"So it is very strategically linked," Cr Brent said.
"The inland rail will provide a hook on the northern extremity of Bromelton," he said.
"So in nine years time it will be linked by both the interstate and the inland rail – subject to its construction – and $300 million was allocated to it in last year's budget," Cr Brent said.
Today there are just two businesses; AJ Bush carbon rendering company and Gelita gelatine factory, plus a bridge girder company and a quarry in the area, he said.
"Between AJ Bush and Gelita I think there would be between 250 and 300 employees there," Cr Brent said.
"But we are talking about – and I'm being realistic – 15,000 jobs in 20 years time on that site."
"So it is massive."
"So we have some major, major investors."
The announcement comes as deputy premier Jackie Trad on Tuesday launched Queensland's Growth Strategy, Labor's verison of the LNP's Queensland Plan that is more closely tied to Labor's previous Southeast Queensland Regional Plans.
Bromelton was first identified in the South East Queensland Regional Plan in 2005.
The Scenic Rim Regional Council has set aside $3 million to cover waiving $400,000 in infrastructure charges per development application.
They estimate they can recoup the cost through additional rates revenue.