The $125 million Port of Melbourne’s Port Rail Transformation Project (PRTP) is set to go ahead and take effect on June 1 this year.
The multi-million dollar initiative will involve significant rail infrastructure works and a new rail operating framework inside the port that will provide an alternative to moving containers by trucks.
The project’s preconditions have been completed, it’s being funded through an increase in the tariff of $9.75 per twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) on full import containers, to take effect June 1 2020.
Brendan Bourke, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Melbourne, said the PRTP is a vital project for port users and the broader economy.
“A rail solution for the port will play a vital role in Victoria’s post-COVID economic recovery with a large construction project supporting jobs as well as supporting the more efficient movement of freight and contributing to a more productive supply chain for decades to come,” he said.
“The Port of Melbourne has listened to industry feedback and is responding with a solution that meets the need for increased transparency in rail access arrangements, improved port access and greater capacity.”
He said the project embraces these principles and supports the Government’s Port Rail Shuttle Network.
Sal Milici, FTA head of border and biosecurity, said increased rail utilisation is necessary to meet the long term forecasted trade growth.
“We applaud the initiative being driven by the Port of Melbourne which will ultimately facilitate the expansion and incentivisation for commercial interests to invest in metropolitan intermodals,” he said.
“An important element of our post COVID-19 economic recovery will be on a strong and vibrant manufacturing and agriculture sectors. A seamless interface to the port for these exporters will be essential.”
Brendan said Port of Melbourne will work closely with port users and other stakeholders to ensure the opportunities and benefits are realised by the industry.
“It’s vital that we all stay focused on the bigger picture,” he said.
“Delivering the right infrastructure and operating environment to drive efficiencies in the supply chain so that we can continue to play our role in the state’s economic future.”
Port of Melbourne stated that after a strong Expressions of Interest process, the company will execute a Request for Proposal for the infrastructure works with new infrastructure construction expected to commence before the end of the year.