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Port reform to integrate transport planning

Brumby Government introduces bill to integrate ports management and improve transport planning

By Brad Gardner | May 10, 2010

The management of Victorian ports will be amalgamated as part of efforts to improve transport planning.

Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas has introduced the Transport Legislation Amendment (Ports Integration) Bill into parliament to merge the running of the ports of Hastings and Melbourne under the Port of Melbourne Corporation.

Pallas says the reform will require the corporation to make decisions with a focus on the transport system as a whole.

“It recognises that the ports and the broader transport system are connected and interdependent, and it aims to ensure integrated system thinking in port planning and management,” he says.

“Integrated thinking means that ports and freight will be front and centre when a relevant transport decision is made.”

According to Pallas, ports cannot operate in isolation from the freight and logistics network because they connect the sea leg of a journey to the land leg.

He says other transport bodies will also be required to consider the best interests of the ports when making decisions.

The Bill will also require the Port of Melbourne to consider the social and environmental consequences of its decisions in addition to its core economic focus.

Debate on the Bill has been adjourned until May 20.

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