Container terminal the centrepiece of $1.2bn port redevelopment

Victorian Government unveils $1.2 billion Port of Melbourne redevelopment, with a new container terminal at Webb Dock the centrepiece

April 24, 2012

The Victorian Government will pump $1.2 billion into redeveloping the Port of Melbourne, with a new container terminal at Webb Dock the centrepiece of the project.

Premier Ted Baillieu today unveiled the government’s plan, which he says includes upgrades at Swanson Dock to increase the port's existing container terminals.

Funds will also be directed to the construction of a dedicated route for trucks accessing Webb Dock in a move Baillieu claims will lead to significant improvements to the way freight is carried to and from the port.

"With new on and off ramps linking the port directly to the M1, Williamstown Road will be completely free from port trucks," he says.

Ports Minister Denis Napthine says the investment will meet Victoria’s short to mid-term container capacity requirements until the Port of Hastings becomes operational in 10 to 15 years.

"There has been a significant amount of interest from those in the private sector who are excited by the opportunities a third container terminal brings to the port," he says.

"The competitive bidding process for the right to build and operate a new facility at what is already Australia’s busiest container port is expected to attract significant interest from industry."

Baillieu says the redevelopment will provide 700 direct jobs and 1900 indirect jobs across Victoria and ensure the state is well-placed to meet forecast demand in container freight.

"This major infrastructure project is an exciting opportunity to cement Victoria’s reputation as the freight and logistics capital of Australia," he says.

"In 2010/11 the port handled a record 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEU) and has continued to set new trade records in recent months.

"With container movements in and out of Melbourne increasing in excess of six per cent every year and tipped to reach 8 million TEU by 2035, this announcement is an important part of the Coalition government’s plan to provide the infrastructure required to meet growing demand.

Infrastructure Partnership Australia (IPA) welcomed the government’s plan, labelling it the biggest boost in the port’s capacity in a generation.

"The construction of a new terminal will cater for the Port of Melbourne’s 6 percent annual growth, increase competition on the waterfront and drive up the productivity of the Victorian and national economies," IPA CEO Brendan Lyon says.

"The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s most valuable container port, meaning that its capacity and efficiency has a direct impact on Australia’s ability to compete in a global market.

"Australia’s freight task will more than triple over the next 40 years, meaning that we need to act now to sort out the kinks in the national freight network and begin to invest in the new capacity that’s needed."

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