In May 2010, the Australian Government tasked the then Department of Finance and Deregulation to conduct a feasibility study into the development of the intermodal terminal at Moorebank in south-western Sydney. The then Department of Finance and Deregulation was assisted in preparing the study by the then Department of Infrastructure and Transport, the Department of Defence and a team of advisers lead by KPMG.

The study examined economic, financial, social, environmental and technical issues; culminating in the development of a detailed business case and concept plan for the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal. Studies were also undertaken to commence the process of obtaining planning and environment approvals for the project. The recommendations of the detailed business case were subsequently confirmed by corporate advisory firm, Greenhill Caliburn Pty Ltd.

In April 2012, the Australian Government committed to developing the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal with the private sector after reviewing the detailed business case, the Greenhill Caliburn reports and the results of market soundings, which showed strong support for the project.

The December 2012, the Australian Government created the Moorebank Intermodal Company (MIC) to oversee the development of the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal and to work with industry to achieve the project's full potential.

MIC was established as a Government Business Enterprise as this was considered the best vehicle to delivery the project. It is proposed that MIC will be privatised once the intermodal terminal is built and operational, subject to market conditions.

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In October 2016, Infrastructure Australia added the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal facility to its Infrastructure Priority List.

Procurement process

Moorebank Intermodal Company (MIC) conducted an expression of interest (EOI) process to identify suitably experienced and qualified organisations to build and operate the Moorebank Intermodal Terminal. Part of this process was to ensure important Government objectives for the terminal were achieved. These objectives include that the terminal must satisfy interstate, regional and import-export freight needs; and be an open access facilities that fosters competition among users of the terminal.

As a result of the competitive EOI process, MIC entered into a six-month negotiation with Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance (SIMTA) - comprising Qube Holdings and  Aurizon Holdings - to determine whether suitable terms for the agreement to develop the Moorebank project on a whole of precinct basis.

Upon receiving Commonwealth approval, MIC and SIMTA entered into contractural agreements on 3 June 2015 for the development and operation of the terminal on a precinct comprising of SIMTA land and Commonwealth land.

Since signing the agreement in June 2015, MIC and SIMTA worked closely to achieve a number of key milestones. These included securing planning approvals from both the State and Commonwealth governments securing access rights across neighbouring land owned by others, commencing early construction works on site. Financial close was achieved on 24 January 2017.