Minister: Labor Party Loses Credibility on Victorian Ports (Australia)
Tim Pallas and the Labor Party have proven once again why they are incapable of managing Victoria’s commercial ports, stated Minister for Ports Denis Napthine.
“In Parliament this week and in a press release issued today, Mr Pallas has turned his back on the development of the Port of Hastings, once again doing a double back-flip when it comes to addressing Victoria’s growing freight demands,” Dr Napthine said.
“Despite clearly stating in the Port of Hastings Land Use and Transport Strategy (2009) that he was ‘particularly excited by the proposition to develop the Port of Hastings’, and ‘the (then) Government has confirmed that Hastings is the preferred site for a second container port’, Mr Pallas has walked away from this important development that will secure Victoria’s economic future.
“Flip-flopping and dithering when it comes to planning for Victoria’s freight capacity is par for the course for Mr Pallas and the previous Labor Government.
“Despite container trade through the Port of Melbourne growing steadily at a rate of six to eight per cent for 17 years, Labor did nothing to address Victoria’s port requirements, instead allowing our ports to become more and more congested,” Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said that since coming to Government, the Victorian Coalition had made a strong decision to develop Webb Dock and expand Swanson Dock as part of the $1.2 billion Port of Melbourne expansion project.
“The Coalition Government has also committed to fast-track the development of the Port of Hastings as our next container port,” Dr Napthine said.
“Hastings is a natural deep-water port in close proximity to the main shipping channels and has an abundance of land that has been zoned for port related purposes for a number of decades.
“Mr Pallas was right in 2009 when he said ‘no other port offers the same overall advantages as Hastings’. His latest back flipping exercise is nothing more than a fickle attempt at grabbing a few cheap headlines.
“Daniel Andrews, Tim Pallas and the Victorian Labor Party ought to come out in support of the Port of Melbourne Expansion and the development of Hastings. These are important projects that create jobs and ensure the economic future of this state,” Dr Napthine said.
Dredging Today Staff, June 12, 2012;