URA needs to focus on Port Melbourne: Lovel

VTA hopes newly-announced Urban Renewal Authority chairman will focus on freight issues in Port Melbourne

By Ruza Zivkusic | July 8, 2011

The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) hopes the appointment of a new Urban Renewal Authority (URA) chairman will see freight issues in Port Melbourne addressed.

Former Melbourne Councillor Peter Clarke accepted the role late last month at the new authority that has replaced VicUrban as Docklands’ master developer.

VTA CEO Phil Lovel believes freight traffic in Port Melbourne is increasing and needs urgent attention.

"The infrastructure around here needs to be really reviewed because at the peak hour in the morning and afternoon there’s a massive amount of traffic at roundabouts that just stops and doesn’t move," Lovel says.

"Quite a lot of B-double trips are made from the Port of Melbourne and that will probably kill rail into Webb Dock.

"The concern we have is that the government or authorities like this don’t understand the freight industry. More needs to be done on freight distribution and they need to work with us very closely."

Victorian Planning Minister Matthew Guy says URA will deliver urban renewal outcomes in areas such as north of Williamstown Road, south of the West Gate Freeway in Port Melbourne and the remainder of the Docklands precinct and other strategic sites like Richmond railway station.

"Melbourne has a huge opportunity in delivering urban renewal projects that will benefit our city for many years to come," Guy says.

"The URA will have a clear mandate to get on with the job of delivering urban change in strategic locations and will be a key part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s commitments to tackle housing supply and affordability."

Guys says the self-funding authority will work on attracting private sector investment in strategic locations to help progress development and accommodate population growth.

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