Australia: Premier Delivers Major Boost for Port of Hastings
A key component of Victoria’s future economic security was significantly boosted today with Premier Denis Napthine announcing $110 million to progress the Port of Hastings development.
Visiting Hastings with Minister for Ports David Hodgett, Dr Napthine said today was a landmark occasion that reaffirmed the Victorian Government’s vision for the ports and freight sector and recognised its key contribution to Victoria’s economic growth.
“We came to Hastings today with great news for Victorian jobs, the economy and the local community,” Dr Napthine said.
“Decisive action is being taken to build a second Victorian container port and ensure this State remains the freight and logistics capital of Australia.
“We will provide $110 million across the next four years to complete the work required to start building a world-class container port with land-side transport connections at Hastings.
“Containerised trade in Victoria is predicted to quadruple by 2035 and the only way to provide certainty to meet this expected demand is to invest in infrastructure.
“In the 1960s former Liberal Premier Sir Henry Bolte had the vision and foresight to set aside almost 4,000 hectares of land at Hastings for future port development.
“With this land and Hastings’ status as a naturally deep port, there is no doubt that this is the best option for development to meet our growing freight needs,” Dr Napthine said.
The $110 million funding package will enable:
– completion of preferred scope
– design works
– transport connection planning
– preliminary work to support environmental approvals processes
– business case development, and
– procurement and delivery strategies.
Mr Hodgett said the Port of Hastings would complement the Port of Melbourne which was currently undergoing a $1.6 billion expansion of container and automotive capacity.
“Import and export trade is performing strongly with more than $82 billion in trade handled through the Port of Melbourne last financial year, including a national record of 2.58 million containers,” Mr Hodgett said.
“This container trade is continuing to grow between five and six per cent annually and is expected to double in the next decade. Without investing to meet future demand, the State will reach capacity by the mid 2020s, even with the benefit of current expansion projects.
“When completed this multi-billion dollar development of the Port of Hastings will ultimately provide capacity for 8 to 9 million containers, which is almost double the current container capacity of the Port of Melbourne.
“The Port of Hastings is a critical project for Victoria and the Napthine Government is getting on with delivering the vital infrastructure our State needs,” Mr Hodgett said.
Member for Hastings Neale Burgess said the funding reaffirmed the Napthine Government’s commitment to jobs in the region.
“While Labor pretend to be interested in driving employment in the south east, the truth is they have turned their back on Hastings and walked away from this project at a time when jobs and economic growth is critical,” Mr Burgess said.
“I am proud to be part of a Government that has been unwavering in its commitment to economic development and creating employment in Hastings and the entire south eastern region.”
Port of Hastings Development Authority (PoHDA) Chair Yehudi Blacher said the task had always been clear and now the resources were in place to begin the port development.
“In addition to managing the port, PoHDA has the specific task of planning for its future development,” Mr Blacher said.
“We got a head start with initial scoping investigations that are already underway and now this new funding will allow us to take the port’s development to the next level.”
Press Release, April 3, 2013