RON Finemore Transport’s new $9 million freight facility confirms Orange’s place as “one of the great decentralisation success stories”, according to member for Orange Andrew Gee.
Premier Barry O’Farrell officially opened the facility at a private function yesterday and thanked Mr Finemore for supporting the government’s goal of economic growth for the state.
“It’s the job of governments to provide conditions that encourage the private sector to make investments and employ people and I am delighted to see this growth in Orange,” he said.
The new facility houses 120 staff and 50 road freight transport vehicles that service the region.
Mr Finemore said freight transport via road would be needed for 40 years or more.
“A lot of people would like to see [trucks] disappear ... but freight isn’t going to be moved down the NBN and rail lines don’t run into the supermarkets, into the service stations,” he said.
“We principally carry food and fuel so there required and needed every week of the year so it’s consistent.
“We might expand into other areas in the future but who knows.”
Mr Finemore said Orange was an ideal location for the facility because of its distance from Sydney and accessibility to surrounding towns such as Bathurst, Blayney, Manildra and Lithgow.
“We take our vehicles out of the middle of Orange and we deliver goods to the supermarkets in the central west and we take goods from producers in the central west,” he said.
“Putting this facility here enables us to be able to grow. It’s a better workplace for our people ... it enables us to be out of the city centre.”
He said the new facility would allow the company to undertake critical training, vehicle monitoring and servicing with room to expand in the future.
“I’m a firm believer you don’t take on what you can’t do 100 per cent safely and reliably,” he said.
“I’ve been in this business over 50 years, I’ve made a lot of mistakes, I don’t want to do it again.”
Mr Gee said the investment was a wonderful vote of confidence in Orange’s economic future.
“It’s entrepreneurs like Ron that take risks, they borrow money, they pay it back but ultimately at the end of the day they’re providing jobs and investment and a long-term future for this region,” he said.
Mr Gee would not say if he felt the bypass road would be able to withstand the extra heavy vehicle traffic - despite his recent criticism of the road’s surface.
“The roads and all of the rest will no doubt sort itself out down the line,” he said.