Hastings port planning studies underway


Hodgett announces next step in process that includes a business plan

Hastings port planning studies underway
David Hodgett’s announcement comes as elections loom

 

The Port of Hastings Development Authority is forging ahead with planning for Melbourne’s second port in Western Port.

With Melbourne’s second container port and other infrastructure projects already election issues in the lead-up to the November 29 poll, there appears no certainty an alternative government will support Hastings if elected, with the Labor opposition wanting the Bay West option explored as well.

Whoever wins is due to have the Hastings port planning and a business plan underway, given ports minister David Hodgett's announcement.

"The Victorian Coalition Government has committed to developing the Port of Hastings as Victoria's second container port to complement the Port of Melbourne and to cater for the growth of container movements," Hodgett says.

"The expansion of the Port of Hastings is a project with multiple elements involving several stages of comprehensive planning.

"This year, the project has progressed under the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act and the authority has specialist study teams on board to ensure a thorough approach is taken over the next few years of planning.

"Starting the marine studies now will ensure we gather the necessary information to be able to progress port design and planning and inform the proposed expansion of the Port of Hastings.

"These marine studies will build on previous studies of Western Port including the work which commenced in the early 1970s and subsequent studies since, and will continue to improve our understanding of the area."

Authority CEO Mike Lean says the studies will provide a baseline of the existing conditions and the results will be used to inform other areas of port planning.

"Hydrodynamic studies will be used to inform port design and planning, providing us with a clear understanding of the wave and current conditions that ships will experience in the channel," Lean adds.

"Ecological studies will be undertaken into underwater habitats, fish and waterbird populations and water quality. These will greatly improve our understanding of Western Port's current marine environment."

Most of the studies will run for a minimum of 12 months to account for seasonal variations.

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