HORSHAM North Residents Committee wants a written commitment from Transport Minister Terry Mulder that he will close the Mill Street freight terminal in November.
Qube Logistics began leasing the terminal last November after Wimmera Container Line moved to the Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal at Dooen.
The move angered Horsham North residents, who believed the city terminal was being decommissioned.
Horsham Rural City Council plans to reassure the committee Mr Mulder will close the terminal once Qube’s lease expires in November this year.
Residents committee secretary Rae Nelson said verbal agreements between Mr Mulder and Horsham Rural City Council were not enough and the commitment needed to be in writing.
“My concern now is the authenticity of what is going to happen in November,” she said.
“Look at all the undertakings we have been given, and not one of them has been met.
“They thought they would have it all resolved by the end of March and negotiations are still happening.
“It is not the guarantee from council that we need, it is a guarantee from Mr Mulder.”
Mrs Nelson said Qube had upped the ante at the Mill Street site as negotiations continued with Wimmera Container Line to share the freight terminal at Dooen.
“They are bringing in new sleepers and it sounds like they are there for the duration and that concerns me,” she said.
“We are being treated like idiots and that is making it even worse.”
Horsham Mayor David Grimble said he was surprised the committee doubted Mr Mulder’s commitment to decommission the site.
“There will not be a freight terminal at the Mill Street site post November of this year,” he said.
“We have also had that assurance from the Australian Rail Track Corporation as well so I wouldn’t be publicly telling people that it will happen if it won’t.
“They can rest assured that it is the case but we are hoping that it will be resolved before November.”
Council approved a transfer of the Dooen terminal’s operator lease from Wimmera Container Line to SCT Logistics after the two freight companies formed a joint venture in January.
Cr Grimble said the joint venture would aid negotiations with Qube for access to the Dooen terminal.
“From council’s perspective we are hoping the two companies can negotiate their way through that before the full 12 months goes by,” he said.
“The reality is with the new joint venture I think the negotiations will gain a lot of momentum and I would be disappointed if we had to go for the full length of the lease term.”
Qube did not return Mail-Times calls before the newspaper went to press to confirm whether it would extend its lease at the end of April.