MUCKING IN: Daniel Meacham of Oakey Beef Exports, Mayor Annie Liston and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud turn the sod at the site of the future Morven Freight Hub.
MUCKING IN: Daniel Meacham of Oakey Beef Exports, Mayor Annie Liston and Agriculture Minister David Littleproud turn the sod at the site of the future Morven Freight Hub.

Million dollar contracts awarded for western freight hub

THE Morven Freight Hub could be operational as early as May this year, after the Murweh Shire Council awarded two major tenders of about $1 million for the long-anticipated project.

Suffcon Pty Ltd, a Roma-based company, was given a $1.1 million contract for earthworks and road construction at the hub. Cattle yard construction was awarded to national company SWS Pty Ltd, to the tune of $1 million.

Decided in a special council meeting on Wednesday, February 19, the tenders are two of the biggest projects within the Morven Freight Hub, with other tenders to be awarded to local companies after the election, Murweh Shire Council CEO Neil Polglase explained.

“Originally Council was going to opt for one contract for the whole complex … but we have found it relevant to split the contract for the whole facility in to a number of smaller ones,” he said.

“It is in part because of the timeline for construction, and also to ensure the local contractors are able to tender for other components.

“Council’s preferred option is to use local contractors, but a tender process is still a tender process, and there is an overall scoring for the most advantageous option.”

A third, smaller quotation was also accepted for dust control on the site.

The full facility is anticipated to be finished in September and run a total bill of at least $7 million, with Council set to award other tenders after the upcoming election.

“A development in the magnitude of this size, which by the time it is fully built will have a railway loop and connections to the highway, will probably cost in excess of $7 million

The roadworks, earthworks, and cattle yards construction are due to begin in the coming weeks, Mr Polglase said.

“We would like to see the Hub operating in some shape or form as early as May this year, with the final completion of all the ancillary facilities earmarked for late September or early October.

“These two large tenders have a very short timeline involved in them, and even though the recent rain has held us up for a couple of weeks, people will see the works on the ground soon.”

Charleville Western Times

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