The Andrews Labor Government announced they’re investing in a new proposal to reduce truck congestion at the Port of Melbourne.
Melissa Horne Minister for Ports and Freight approved a proposal by Port of Melbourne Operations that will see an investment of $125 million in new rail infrastructure.
To make the on-dock rail plan possible, the Port of Melbourne will introduce a $9.75 per twenty-foot equivalent unit charge on imported containers.
The funds raised from the charge will directly deliver new sidings and connections for the rail project.
The charge keeps the port competitive with Port Botany and won’t apply to exporters from the port.
The port currently contributes $6 billion to the Victorian economy each year and is a major part of the state’s agriculture supply chain.
The Labor Government said in a statement that they’re “also supporting the Port Rail Shuttle Network connecting freight hubs in Melbourne’s north and west to the port, new intermodal terminals planned at Truganina and Beveridge, new automated signalling for faster rail freight to GeelongPort and improvements in the regional rail freight network,”
“Improving rail access to the Port of Melbourne is a legislated condition of its lease – with its delivery part of a wider push to improve rail freight across Victoria.”
The state Government stated they’re “looking at ways improve port pricing and access – keeping Victoria’s regional exports cost-competitive and growing the state’s economy.”
An industry roundtable happening at Port of Melbourne is giving the ports industry an opportunity to provide feedback on a draft report and recommendations of an independent review into these issues to help form its response.
Melissa Horne Minister for Ports and Freight said the on-dock rail project will cut costs for regional exporters and increase the competitiveness of Victorian industry.
“The Port of Melbourne is a vital part of our multi-billion dollar export sector and agriculture supply chain and on-dock rail will make its operations more efficient for Victorian exporters – removing congestion at the port gate.”