Tougher environmental and noise regulations on Qube’s $1.9 billion Moorebank freight hub have been described as a “good outcome” by the logistics group after the NSW Land and Environment Court released final conditions for its development.
Susan Dixon, a senior commissioner at the court, said “stringent” conditions would be imposed on the Moorebank freight hub in south-western Sydney, following legal action brought by community action group Residents Against Intermodal Development Moorebank (RAID).
“The conditions which I intend to impose provide for consistent and ongoing monitoring, and go further than those which were imposed by the Planning Assessment Commission,” Ms Dixon said.
Qube said the updated approval conditions were “largely in line” with what had been agreed between the Minister for Planning, the company and the NSW Environmental Defenders Office, which represented RAID during the hearing.
Additional conditions have been put in place to minimise noise impacts – including that a noise barrier be erected if noise from rail operations to and from Port Botany exceed certain levels – and protect an endangered shrub, Hibbertia fumana.
All containers must be transferred to and from Port Botany by rail, unless there are breakdowns or emergency maintenance.
Qube said it was pleased the court had confirmed planning approval and that the concerns raised by the residents had been dealt with.
“It’s a very good outcome which allows this next stage of the development to continue and provides further reassurance that all necessary environmental protections are in place,” a spokesman said.
The judge said the Moorebank project’s benefits outweighed its potential impacts, and would help ease congestion near Port Botany.
The conditions proposed by the Minister of Planning and accepted by Qube accommodated all of the agreed recommendations of ecologists and acoustic experts, Ms Dixon said.