Hodgett calls for long-term T&L planning


Minister says the state needs better planning that successive governments can support

Hodgett calls for long-term T&L planning
Shadow ports minister David Hodgett.

 

Shadow ports minister David Hodgett says governments should look beyond the short-term electoral cycles and make plans to bring stability within the freight logistics industry.

With population of Victoria on the rise and the roads getting busier, the minister says the state needs more long-term plans to deal with the challenges associated with growth.

Speaking at the two-day Victorian Transport Association (VTA) conference this week, the minister says the state’s population is growing at a "staggering" pace and it is time to invest in planning with regionalisation and decentralisation in mind.

"East Link is now doing 250,000 vehicle movements per day, out of which 40,000 are commercial vehicles and 30,000 are non-commercial vehicles.

"Overlay that with population growth and you only have to read the executive summaries of Infrastructure Australia reports.

"Australia’s population’s is going to grow increased by some 45 per cent between now and the early 2030s.

"Most of that is in the capital cities and the eastern sea board and the infrastructure is groaning under the weight of the population growth."

He calls for long-term plans to help support the growing freight transport industry in Victoria.

Despite a 37 per cent market share in the Australian logistics industry, the Port of Melbourne is battling two major challenges – access and capacity, he says.

While the Webb Dock project has increased the capacity of the port but trade forecast indicates that the port will reach capacity by the early 2030s and there is an immediate need to plan for a the next international container port, Hodgett says.

"If we lose trade, it’s very hard to get back. It’s a very competitive market."

He says the freight logistics sector is vital to the Victorian economy and therefore it needs better planning to ensure a more stable future.

Hodgett says the short-term electoral cycles are sometimes not enough to see the changes through.

The deputy opposition minister says Victoria needs plans that successive governments can agree on continue to pursue rather than starting over.

"We need successive governments to have a plan and stick to that plan."

He also calls on the current government to focus on a number of road and rail projects including, North East Link, Western Distributor, Airport Link, East West Link and the Port Rail shuttle.

There is "desperate" need to focus on these projects as they are crucial to the state's transport and logistics sector, Hodgett reiterates.

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