Victoria’s commercial ports have performed strongly over the past year, posting solid figures in import and export trade.
Minister for Ports David Hodgett welcomed the annual reports tabled in Parliament yesterday and said the figures reinforced the strategic value of Victoria’s commercial ports.
“Victoria has an incredibly strong ports sector which can be seen in the figures posted for the past year for trade at Melbourne, Geelong and Hastings,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The Port of Melbourne Corporation recorded an overall profit after tax of $72.8 million for 2013-14 against the background of modest overall trade growth.
“The Port of Hastings also continued its strong trade growth, reporting significant increases in both exports and imports for the past reporting period.
“Overall, these are positive trade figures at Victoria’s major ports and the Napthine Government will continue its support of the sector to ensure these figures grow into the future,” Mr Hodgett said.
Mr Hodgett said there were significant projects underway at each major port to ensure Victoria retains its position as the country’s freight and logistics capital.
“It’s a particularly dynamic time for the industry at the moment. It’s a time when a great deal of attention is being paid to the state’s ability to capitalize on the growing port trade, particularly the fast-growing container trade,” Mr Hodgett said.
“The $1.6 billion Port Capacity Project at the Port of Melbourne is critical to our ability to accommodate future container and automotive trade growth.
“This major project has gained even greater momentum during the year with the announcements of the successful bidders for the international container terminal, the automotive terminal and Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) hub.
“Planning is well underway on the expansion of the Port of Hastings as Victoria’s next container port with major planning milestones achieved in the past year.
“There have been several milestones this year for the Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) including its appointment as Port-City coordinator in June to facilitate proposed infrastructure projects for the port, and the $6 million contract awarded in February to undertake dredging and improve safety, capacity and efficiency in the shipping channels,” Mr Hodgett said.