$4m boost to get more Victorian freight onto rail

Melissa Horne, Victorian Minister for Ports and Freight has announced a further $4 million boost in the Mode Shift Incentive Scheme, building on the $20 million investment already in place to get more freight onto rail and more trucks off local roads.

Victorian freight volumes are set to nearly triple by 2051. The Mode Shift Incentive Scheme (MSIS) provides support to rail freight companies to make rail transport costs competitive with road freight and allows exporters to get their goods to port sooner.

The Government has also approved the Port of Melbourne’s $125 million investment in building new on-dock rail at Swanson Dock East, which will reduce costs for exporters and fastrack Victorian products to port.

“We’re moving more freight more efficiently and keeping our state connected by reducing rail costs and making it easier to get Victorian products to our ports,” Melissa said.

“This scheme benefits the community by getting trucks off roads which locals use every day and supporting industry through cost-effective movement of freight.”

The investment follows the announcement of a $1 million industry study, that will inform Victoria’s future freight and containerised trade logistics to ensure delivery of a more productive supply chain.

The study, with support from the Victorian Department of Transport, will analyse the complex logistics chain that enables tens of thousands of containers to move to and from the Port of Melbourne each week.

Brendan Bourke, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Melbourne, said a fresh understanding of Victoria’s international and coastal container trade was critical to ensuring that appropriate infrastructure, industrial land, planning controls and policy settings are in place to support a responsive and productive supply chain.

“We have been planning this study for some time, but COVID-19 highlights how vital the Port of Melbourne and the international supply chain are to the Victorian and national economy,” he said.

“With population growth, demographic changes and shifts in consumer behaviour, managing the freight and transport network today, while planning for the future, requires a thorough understanding of the supply chain and the infrastructure needs that underpin it.”

The new research will provide a current and comprehensive picture of the port’s import and export container trade activities throughout the metropolitan area, regional Victoria and interstate.

Mr Bourke said Port of Melbourne is seeking the cooperation of its extensive stakeholder network to ensure the necessary data is provided to enable a cohesive and representative picture of container activities to be developed.

“With Victoria growing rapidly, our freight volumes are set to increase substantially in coming years, so it’s more vital than ever that we have the detailed information we need to plan for the future,” Melissa said.

“I know this is a busy and challenging time for the industry, but I urge the freight sector to participate in this important once-in-a-decade study.”

Shaun Mooney, former Linfox and Toll Group executive has  been appointed Port of Melbourne’s executive general manager, commercial and will oversee property and business development and reports to CEO Brendan Bourke.

In a statement Port of Melbourne says Mooney brings expertise to the delivery of its strategic objectives, including optimising on-port productivity and increasing capacity to respond to demand growth.

“Shaun will play a vital role in helping us balance the challenges of our immediate operating environment with the long-term projects that will drive our growth,” Brendan said.

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