Wimmera projects impress engineers

REPRESENTATIVES from Victoria's leading engineering group have hailed the Wimmera's infrastructure projects as some of the best they have seen.

Engineers Australia Victorian division representatives visited the region yesterday and toured a number of sites including the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen and the Grains Innovation Park in Horsham.

They also travelled along the Wimmera-Mallee Pipeline route and met professionals and industry representatives from across the region in Horsham last night.

Victorian division president John McIntosh said he was amazed at the work being done in the region.

"It is nice to see things being co-ordinated and well-planned," he said.

"A development like the freight hub has got to be good for Horsham.

"It is well laid-out and there is room to expand. I can see there has been a lot of forward thought about how things are put together.

"I was talking to a colleague on the way here and we were saying that we greatly under-utilise the rail system.

"This sort of facility is the way of the future and doesn't affect the supply chain in an adverse way."

Mr McIntosh praised the pipeline and said the system was the best he had seen.

"I was amazed at the amount of work that was done in just a few years," he said.

"It seems to deliver a limited resource in an efficient way.

"The pumping stations and the pipeline are first rate there is no question about that."

Mr McIntosh said the group hoped to help develop an organisation, Infrastructure Victoria, to look at engineering and infrastructure requirements across the state and produce a planning regime around them.

He said the NSW Government had recently established a similar group.

Former Engineers Australia Victorian division president and former Horsham Rural City Council technical services manager David Eltringham said the next step for the Wimmera was to make full use of the freight hub site at Dooen.

"The potential for the site is a lot greater than what is there now," he said.

"Hopefully the land can be developed as a distribution and receival centre for the region.

"People outside our region can see things are happening in the Wimmera and the facilities and services here that can be used by others."

Mr Eltringham said the mineral sands project at Drung and a study about moving the rail line so it did not pass through Horsham would also have major effects on the region's future.

Mr Eltringham and Engineers Australia representatives met with other professionals and leaders from across the Wimmera in Horsham last night.

Chairman of the Engineers Australia Wimmera group Peter Jackson said the meeting was a chance to talk about the many projects in the region, as well as training and industry development.

"We invited accountants, doctors, dentists and people from both Longerenong College and the University of Ballarat to do a bit of networking," he said.

"This year Engineers Australia has a theme of celebrating regional engineering. We want to wave the flag and expose more of what we do to the wider community."

For more on the meeting see the Mail-Times next week.

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