Federal MP Craig Kelly has rocked today’s Planning and Assessment Commission (PAC) hearing into the Moorebank intermodal plan by declaring air pollution would increase by an incredible 1,000 percent if it gets the green light.
When Mr Kelly took the stand at noon, he urged the PAC to impose stringent conditions on any approval of the proposal for a giant terminal and warehouse for up to 1.5 million container movements a year.
As the Member for Hughes revealed exclusively to the South West Voice last week, Mr Kelly proposed a carefully thought condition be imposed on locomotive engines used by freight trains to move containers around Sydney.
Under the Moorebank intermodal proposal up to 1.5 million containers a year would be transferred there from Port Botany by freight trains.
But they would leave Moorebank for their final destination by trucks.
Mr Kelly said it was imperative that all diesel locomotive engines should be fitted with the same air pollution filters as trucks.
“At the moment there are no regulations at all applying to diesel locomotive engines used by freight trains,’’ Mr Kelly said.
“For every container moved from Port Botany to an intermodal at Moorebank, particulate pollution would increase by 1,000 per cent,’’ Mr Kelly told PAC.
“This would be devastating for air quality in western Sydney, where pollution levels are already above the recommended national standards.’’
If the proponents of the intermodal faced the huge cost of fitting air pollution equipment on freight train engines, it’s possible the project may become financially unsustainable.
Asked about this, Mr Kelly said: “So be it.’’
Mr Kelly is one of more than 30 listed speakers at the PAC hearing being held at Bankstown Golf Club in Milperra.
It is likely the hearing will stretch well into this evening and quite possibly spill over into tomorrow.