24th February 2016.
A SITE near RAAF Pearce Base in Bullsbrook is set to become a major transport hub and will connect to the State Government’s $1.1 billion Northlink WA project.
The hub – to be known as the Northern Gateway – will be developed by equity group Sirona Capital.
The announcement comes as Sirona received a $45 million investment from American banking firm Goldman Sachs to develop the site.
The Northern Gateway will occupy 200ha area of land south of the airbase, west of the Great Northern Highway and east of the planned Northlink WA route, which will link Morley to Muchea.
The State Government said it was designed to reduce travel times and congestion and would link to the nearly completed Gateway WA, connecting regional traffic to the commercial and industrial areas of Malaga, Kewdale, Perth Airport and the Perth CBD.
The Northern Gateway would be built to accommodate the increased truck movements connected with the Northlink project, which is expected to be finished in 2019.
Sirona co-managing director Kelvin Flynn said there was a real need for a hub to service the north.
“The (Bullsbrook) site has been chosen because two-thirds of the 21 million tonnes of freight that moves through the state each year is through the north-south corridor,” he said.
“The development of industrial land has been very south-centric, yet the state’s rapid development in the past 30 years ironically has been in the northern corridor.”
Mark Brownell, executive officer of the Freight & Logistics Council of Western Australia, said the NorthLink WA project had been well received.
“The masses of cargo that move through the area will benefit from a dedicated thoroughfare,” he said.
It would also mean a streamlining of freight going through the Swan Valley, where residents have complained about truck movements for some years.
Swan Valley Ratepayers and Residents Association president Jeff Williams said while Northlink brought good news for locals, the Northern Gateway would not make much difference.
“Northlink will take the majority of trucks off Great Northern Highway,” he said.
“But I don’t think the Northern Gateway would affect (Swan Valley) residents.”
The State Goverment has designated a future Bullsbrook intermodal terminal west of the Northern Gateway site, which would provide a direct rail link to Fremantle Port.
Sirona is also planning a 150ha related further development north in Muchea, where it is proposing a heavy vehicle services hub.