New rail hub planned for casino
John McMahon has a plan to get trucks off the road and freight on to the rail line. The Casino farmer and real estate agent is about to lodge a Development Application with Richmond Valley Council for a rail terminal facility at Casino that would allow trains up to 2.25 kilometres long to be loaded and unloaded.
“The big thing is that on the North Coast there has been something like 250,000 acres of trees that have been planted in the last 12 to 13 years. When they start to come on line to be harvested, the only destination they can go is to the Port of Brisbane chipper. This would allow logs to come into here to one central spot and then they can go to chipper, or be chipped here and then taken to Brisbane or Newcastle,” he said.
Mr McMahon said he had sold “a lot of country” that has been developed into commercial tree plantations over the years. There have been estimates that, once the industry gets into full scale harvesting operations, up to 1000 trucks a day could be travelling from the North Coast to Brisbane.
“You'd still have 1000 trucks a day but they'd all be going to one spot. Imagine if they were going through Lismore to Bangalow and then up the highway. It would be a nightmare,” he said.
He said it would also open up opportunities for grain importation and meat exportation and other industries on the North Coast.
The initial development will cost around $10 million and Mr McMahon is hoping to expand it so eventually there would be a dedicated terminal for freight to and from the Riverina region.