1 December 2022

UPDATED: Wagga's industrial future on a fast-track with the opening of the 'RiFL' Hub

| Chris Roe
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Wes Fang andMinister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway

Wagga MLC Wes Fang with MP Sam Farraway, who says the RiFL will open the Riverina to the world. Photo: Chris Roe.

Industry in Wagga has taken a big step forward today (1 December) with the official opening of the multi-million-dollar Riverina Intermodal Freight & Logistics (RiFL) Hub at the Bomen Business Park to the city’s north.

With trains and trucks already rumbling through the facility, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Sam Farraway joined Visy Logistics Lee Schmelich and Wagga Mayor Dallas Tout to unveil the jointly funded project.

“We know that 12 per cent of the total agricultural output comes out of Riverina and Murray region,” Mr Farraway said. “And we need to make sure that we have the infrastructure built so we can harness opportunities into the future.”

The RiFL is attached to Wagga’s Special Activation Precinct (SAP), which is already proving to be an asset to the region in attracting and retaining local industry.

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The project involved constructing new rail and road infrastructure and a freight terminal which allows for the transfer of containers between road and rail and then onto major shipping ports.

“The food, the fibre and commodities need to get from the paddock through to port,” said Mr Farraway.

“To do that efficiently and effectively you need to invest in the right infrastructure that will make a difference.

“This 4.9 km rail siding that we see behind us here will allow for 1200 metre long trains to use this freight and logistics hub – that is the equivalent of 134 semi trailers.”

As well as taking pressure off the road network, the project will bring a concentration of jobs to Wagga.

“It means jobs, it means security, it means industry,” he said.

“Once you see the full realisation of all the opportunity and benefits from the Special Activation Precinct on top of Wagga Wagga being one of the leading regional cities that we have, not only in NSW, but I think in Australia.”

RiFL Opening

Mayor Dallas Tout with Visy’s Lee Schmelich and Minister Sam Farraway. Photo: Chris Roe.

Wagga Mayor Dallas Tout said it was a case of “build it and they will come”, adding that the significance of the Bomen development couldn’t be overstated.

“This is not just a once in a lifetime thing. The benefits of this initiative will flow on for generations to come.”

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Visy will operate and manage the RiFL Hub terminal in partnership with Wagga City Council and General Manager Peter Thompson said it had been a positive process.

“They have the freight we needed and we thought we could build the hub,” he said, summarising the years long negotiation.


The RiFL is already in action with further infrastructure to be built in the next 12 to 18 months. Photo: Chris Roe

Visy’s Lee Schmelich said they were already down to business moving their international paper operation through the hub.

“We’re moving probably 1300 tonnes of products almost every day of the week by the trains,” he explained adding that they would be investing in further infrastructure and planned to be fully operational within the next 12 to 18 months.

“The RiFL will turbocharge local agriculture and industry by making it easier to get local products from the Riverina to customers across the country and the world.

“We want to grow not only our own freight task, but to open Wagga to the world.”

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