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Federal boost to $6.5m regional transport hub.



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NEWS RELEASE

 

MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT & REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT

HON MARK VAILE MP

And

HON BOB BALDWIN MP

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR PATERSON

 

FEDERAL BOOST to $6.5 m

REGIONAL TRANSPORT HUB

 

The Howard Government's fourth initiative from it's $10 million Hunter Assis tance Package, will lay the foundation for the city of Maitland and the surrounding region to generate a rapid expansion of local jobs and investment in the heavy transport sector.

 

The Minister for Transport and Regional Development, Mark Vaile, and the Member for Paterson, Bob Baldwin, today jointly announced that the Federal Government will contribute up to $1.5 million in infrastructure assistance towards a new transport and distribution centre in Maitland.

 

Maitland City Council and the coach line ‘The Blue Ribbon Group’ have jointly supported an innovative $6.5 million heavy engineering ‘transport hub’ and will now conduct a final feasibility study.

 

The consortium has been looking for a large ‘green-fields site’ to house a relocated Maitland Council depot, a bus depot bringing together Blue Ribbon's scattered sites, a heavy vehicle inspection centre, a body repair shop and a cafeteria - plus accommodation for visiting drivers.

 

Mr. Vaile said Bob Baldwin had been a powerful advocate for the concept in Canberra.

 

Mr. Baldwin said Federal Government support for the Transport Hub would be integral to 300 workers from Blue Ribbon Coachlines and Maitland Council being transferred permanently to the multi-million dollar complex - which would create a further 60 new jobs.

 

“The Maitland Transport Hub could lead the way to a smorgasbord of heavy vehicle transport players - not only as regular users of the truck and bus maintenance facility - but as possible tenants along with Blue Ribbon and Maitland Council", Mr. Baldwin said.

 

“Let there be no doubt. This project is the ideal vehicle to deliver new jobs and underscore Maitland as the engine room for industrial expansion in the Hunter.

 

“New jobs for auto electricians, machinists, panel beaters, tyre fitters, mechanics, caterers and others will provide an avenue for new apprenticeship opportunities in the Hunter.

 

“This Howard Government's support for this job creating project is all the more significant because a quarter of BHP's local workforce live within the Maitland local government area and will help shield the impact of cessation of integrated steel making in Newcastle”, Mr. Baldwin said.

 

Minister Vaile and Mr. Baldwin both welcomed Maitland Council's decision to move immediately onto a final feasibility study and commended the vision behind the project.

 

“The commitment to investment and jobs in this project by all stakeholders promises lasting employment and economic gains for this important region”, Mr. Baldwin said.

 

Media Inquiries: Peter Cassuben (Mr . Vaile’s office) (02) 6277 7680 or

Simon Westaway (Mr. Baldwin’s office) (02) 49 345 656 / 015 452 133

 

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LK