Pre-Budget pledge on Port of Melbourne lease


Victoria to take advantage of Federal cash for asset recycling with Hastings port in its sights

Pre-Budget pledge on Port of Melbourne lease
Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien

 

The Port of Melbourne faces a medium-term lease, a pre-State Budget statement confirms.

Victorian Treasurer Michael O’Brien and Ports Minister David Hodgett say the lease is the outcome of the Government’s the port scoping study, which sees the lease as "the most effective way" to generate a significant commercial return and support development of the Port of Hastings.

"It is vital that as part of leasing the Port of Melbourne the Coalition Government is able to continue developing the Port of Hastings to cater for Victoria's long term freight needs," Hodgett states.

"The Coalition Government will ensure that the Port of Hastings can be brought on line in a suitable time frame to ensure that Victoria remains Australia's freight and logistics capital, driving the Victorian economy."

The move means that the Coalition Government "can maximise the value of the land in the Port of Melbourne precinct at approximately the same time the CBD will be ready to expand into areas currently occupied by the port.

"We will continue to develop both the Port of Melbourne and Port of Hastings together, strategically, to build on Victoria’s status as the freight and logistics capital of Australia," Hodgett adds.

Despite think-tank reservations expressed about taking on more infrastructure spending and the value of asset/capital recycling, O’Brien pledges to take advantage of related Federal cash offers.

"We are about to embark on a significant infrastructure program and the proceeds of this divestment, together with the Commonwealth’s contribution, will be invested directly back into new job creating infrastructure," O’Brien says.

"This will include the East West Link that will improve our freight and logistics network, including access to the port, benefiting exporters right across the state.

"We welcome the decision of the Commonwealth Government to initiate its asset recycling initiative measures, which has been an important factor in the decision of the Victorian Coalition Government to put the Port of Melbourne to market."

An expression of interest process is expected to commence in early next year.

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