THE sudden departure of council’s commercial and economic development director, Dr Peter Adams, has not derailed plans for his pet project, according to mayor Rod Kendall.
Dr Adams has been steering plans for the $75 million Riverina Intermodal Freight and Logistics (RIFL) hub for several years, after council secured $14.5 million in federal funding to undertake the project in 2013.
But Dr Adams had his contract “brought to an end” last Monday, plunging into jeopardy the future of the trouble-plagued project.
It follows the site’s proponent, Traxion, entering voluntary administration in April, prompting critics to question whether the federal funding would be jeopardised.
Council selected Genesee & Wyoming as the preferred proponents for the project in September, confirmed by a confidential meeting between councillors and senior staff on Thursday night.
Cr Kendall said council would focus on the enabling road infrastructure, while the project itself rested on the state government. Council has lodged an application to receive state funding to upgrade the surrounding roads, which includes strengthening and replacing Eunony Bridge.
“I’m confident it will go ahead because the message we’re getting from the state government is they’re willing to support it,” he said.
Cr Kendall clarified council’s community and economic development project manager, James Bolton, was handling the project and was also the new acting director.
The federal grant of $14.5 million will expire mid 2017.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.