New Port Kembla mill faces opostition from freight operator

New Port Kembla mill faces opostition from freight operator
Published: 11 April 2011

A new cement grinding mill proposed for the edge of Port Kembla harbour is being opposed by freight operator Pacific National, which has cited 16 near misses at the rail crossing in five years to argue the development is not safe.

Pacific National says the proposed increase in truck traffic - 744 truck movements per day to and from the mill - would pose an unacceptable risk to its locomotive drivers.

A submission to the Planning Department from Pacific National details 16 near misses between trains and cars at the Old Port Rd crossing.

"The near-miss reports clearly demonstrate the inadequacy of the existing infrastructure for adequately protecting Pacific National employees and road users," the submission says.

Cement Australia says the plant, which would be built on reclaimed land would reuse slag from the steelworks.
When its three mills are completed, the plant would produce 2.5Mta of cement and 0.5Mta of ground granulated blast furnace slag each year.

Submissions from major agencies the RTA and RailCorp are critical of the plan. Wollongong City Council supports the project in principle, saying it "brings with it a host of social and economic benefits to the Illawarra".

The RTA submission said the 42 truck movements per hour at peak production times exceeded the limits under the area’s concept plan and would limit the capacity of future developments in the outer harbour.

"Approving this development with the traffic volumes proposed would set a potentially dangerous precedent for future development within the Port Kembla Outer Harbour," the RTA’s submission says.