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Pallas draws government ire over claims

Government rejects claims a feasibility study on potential relocation of car trade at the Port of Geelong has been finalised

March 1, 2012

Victorian Minister for Ports Denis Napthine has hit back at claims the feasibility study on the potential relocation of the car trade at the Port of Geelong has been finalised.

Napthine dismissed as incorrect comments from the Opposition’s spokesman on ports Tim Pallas, labelling them “way off course”.

Napthine says the Department of Transport is conducting the feasibility study and is seeking input from stakeholders, private consultants and the community.

“Contrary to Mr Pallas’ claims, the Coalition government did not engage Sinclair Knight Mertz to conduct the feasibility study nor has the study been finalised,” Napthine says.

Pallas claims the government has abandoned plans to relocate the export and import of cars from Webb Dock to the Port of Geelong.

“Clearly, the Baillieu government has either decided to ditch moving the car trade to the Port of Geelong or is having serious doubts about whether or not it should,” he says.

Pallas claims the government is backing away from its stated aim of relocating the car trade to create 1000 jobs for Geelong and inject an extra $200 million into the community.

“Cleary it seems Mr Baillieu now has cold feet on the Geelong move. This comes at the worst time for people in Geelong, who are already facing massive job cuts at Alcoa, uncertainty around Ford’s long term future and public sector job cuts,” he says.

“Geelong needs a jobs plan from Mr Baillieu, not half-baked promises that come to nothing.”

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