Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu announced a $1.2 billion re-development of the Port of Melbourne which will create 2,600 jobs and enhance the economic future of the state.
Mr Baillieu said the centerpiece of the project would be the construction of a new container terminal at Webb Dock while infrastructure upgrades at Swanson Dock would increase capacity at the port’s existing container terminals.
“This major infrastructure project is an exciting opportunity to cement Victoria’s reputation as the freight and logistics capital of Australia,” Mr Baillieu said.
“The project will provide 700 direct jobs and 1,900 indirect jobs across Victoria, in addition to ensuring we are well placed to cater for the forecast demand in container freight.
“In 2010/11 the port handled a record 2.5 million twenty-foot equivalent containers (TEU) and has continued to set new trade records in recent months.
“With container movements in and out of Melbourne increasing in excess of six per cent every year and tipped to reach 8 million TEU by 2035, this announcement is an important part of the Coalition Government’s plan to provide the infrastructure required to meet growing demand.
Mr Baillieu said the project would also see significant improvements to the way freight was carried to and from the port.
“A fantastic aspect of this development will be the construction of a dedicated route for trucks accessing Webb Dock,” Mr Baillieu said.
“With new on and off ramps linking the port directly to the M1, Williamstown Road will be completely free from port trucks.
“An additional $10 million will also be spent on buffering and beautification works to protect the amenity for the local community,” Mr Baillieu said.
Minister for Ports Denis Napthine said all Victorians would benefit from an improved and efficient port.
“With the port handling $82 billion worth of international import and export trade per annum, the Coalition Government recognises managing the port effectively is essential to maintaining the lifestyle, livelihood and trade benefits for Victorian people and Victorian businesses,” Dr Napthine said.
“By investing in the future of the Port of Melbourne as Australia’s premier trading gateway today, jobs will be safeguarded and Victoria’s productivity will be improved.
“This announcement will ensure Victoria’s short to mid-term container capacity requirements are met until the Port of Hastings becomes operational in 10 to 15 years.
“There has been a significant amount of interest from those in the private sector who are excited by the opportunities a third container terminal brings to the port.
“The competitive bidding process for the right to build and operate a new facility at what is already Australia’s busiest container port is expected to attract significant interest from industry,” Dr Napthine said.
Dredging Today Staff, April 26, 2012;