“The extra rail capacity and traffic overpass will increase the amount of freight that can be carried directly to the port, helping to secure Melbourne’s position as the largest and most efficient container port in Australia.”
“Work will now commence on stage two of the Dynon port rail link project, which will involve construction of the new city-bound bridge on Footscray Road,” he said.
The city-bound bridge is expected to be opened to traffic in early 2009.
The Port of Melbourne has reported a net profit after tax of $43.3 million in the 2007/08 fiscal year, with the seventeenth consecutive year of growth in its core container trade being a key contributor.
Its total revenue grew $29.4 million to $171.5 million, while total expenditure fell $3.9 million to $103.8 million.
The strong result benefited from a 7.8 per cent increase in total container trade to 2.26 million TEU, making the Australian port one of the world’s top fifty container ports.
The port’s CEO Stephen Bradford said another year of solid financial result was made possible by its ongoing extensive capital investment program to secure the port’s long-term sustainability.
“In a challenging trading environment, which included higher fuel prices and ongoing drought conditions in south-eastern Australia, we have invested a further $48.5 million during the year in essential port infrastructure.
“To improve facilities for our customers and port users, we have now invested over $200 million in port infrastructure over the past five years, excluding the channel deepening project,” Mr Bradford said.
With an additional $126.8 million invested in the channel deepening project in the year, dredging for the project is now 31 per cent complete, amounting to a total volume of 7.25 million cubic metres dredged to date.
The port’s total net assets were now reported to be $1.2 billion and total trade grew by 6.7 per cent to 75.7 million tonnes in the year.
The company said nearly all cargo types contributed to the strong performance while liquid and dry bulk cargoes experienced marginal declines.
The 2007/08 dividend to the Victorian Government is scheduled to be paid in October this year.