Victorian independent ports probe advice accepted

Commercial Ports Strategy and Ports Victoria are major action areas

Victorian independent ports probe advice accepted
Melissa Horne


The Victorian government has accepted all 63 recommendations of the Independent Review of the Victorian Ports System report.

The review was aimed at setting the scene for three decades of growth in the state’s freight and logistics task, in which time a new container port is likely to be due.

"Commercial ports across Victoria support around $26 billion in locally produced and manufactured exports – handling almost a quarter of Australia’s total food and fibre exports," state ports and freight minister Melissa Horne said, spruiking it as the first "holistic" examination of the sector since 2021.

"Victorian ports are our gateway to international markets, and with freight volumes expected to more than double over the next three decades, we must have the right infrastructure and policies in place to support Victoria’s growing economy.

 "We have already started making key recommendations from the review a reality – including establishing the new Geelong-based organisation, Ports Victoria.

Read about the initial state government response to the review, here


The state government said it had set out the three main areas of action.

Along with Ports Victoria these areas include outlining key reforms, including pilotage and towage services, plus developing a Victorian Commercial Ports Strategy to define the Government’s stewardship role further and articulating the critical steps in ensuring the future of Victoria’s ports, and local ports and waterway management reforms seeking to support these assets’ economic and social value effectively.

The government is pledging legislative reforms to ensure safety roles and functions are reliable and consistently applied across commercial ports.

"The new legislation will include making Ports Victoria responsible for overseeing the accountability of harbour masters across the state," it said.

"Work will begin soon on the Victorian Commercial Ports Strategy, recommended in the review to provide clear direction on the role of current and future commercial ports in the management of the state’s growing freight task."

The strategy effort is to be pointed at exploring trade and industry trends impacting the sector, the capacity of Victorian ports, the transport links and channels that support them, plus the port land-use protections and settings to safeguard current and future port operations. 

The Department of Transport is also implementing the Sustainable Local Ports Framework as a critical first step to improve local ports management.


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