THE collapse of a key player in Wagga’s planned intermodal hub has sparked plenty of questions but few answers.
The $75 million project was plunged into jeopardy on Tuesday night when broker Traxion fell into voluntary administration.
What’s not in question is that the hub is a critical piece of infrastructure for the city’s future, with the potential to broaden the base of industrial and manufacturing businesses.
Council yesterday moved swiftly to distance itself from Traxion’s woes, saying it had “no financial exposure to the company”.
But it certainly has financial exposure to the project, already sinking in close to $1.7 million of ratepayers’ money.
It may be true that council could not have known the depth of Traxion's troubles, but it is also true it must bear some responsibility for the parlous situation it has put the city in.
For months, the dogs have been barking inside council chambers and out about Traxion being on shaky ground.
The hub was always a high-risk, speculative venture, planned on a grandiose scale and without a cornerstone tenant.
What happens next is anyone’s guess. Will the administrator hive off part of Traxion and stay in the project? Will another investor step in?
Council maintains the latest blow is only a hiccup, with interest expressed by local, national and international businesses.
The next few months will reveal how much interest there really is and whether council is sitting on a goldmine or lumbered with a white elephant.
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