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Future Freight Networks : Yearbook 2011
3636 Welcome Forum Opening Don Telford Chairman ALC In his opening address, ALC Chairman Don Telford made the point that never has there been a more important time to make good infrastructure decisions and move to a national regulation regime. He also emphasised that it is vital that we Denis Napthine MP Victorian Minister for Ports, Minister for Major Projects, Minister for Racing and Minister for Regional Cities The Minister opened his address by proudly promoting Victoria as the ‘freight and logistics capital of Australia’ and predicting a busy future for the state’s four major commercial ports: Melbourne, Geelong, Portland and Hastings, which together account for 99 per cent by volume and 90 per cent by value of Victorian international trade. Minister Napthine also noted that Melbourne is still the largest container port in Australia and handled some 2.35 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) last year. Projections are that Melbourne container traffic is expected to grow to between seven and eight million TEUs by 2035 – a quadrupling within 25 years. In the context of the National Ports Strategy, Victoria is undertaking a major review of all port facilities. The recently released report on container movements in the Port of Melbourne is a landmark study that provides a rich source of data to better understand the real forces at work in shaping logistics patterns in the state. This is just part of the research, analysis and consultation being undertaken as part of the new planning process. A statewide review of possibilities is being undertaken, and as one example, the Minister mentioned a feasibility study into moving the car import-export trade from the Port of Melbourne (375,000 vehicles were carried in and out on 320 vessels during the year) to the port of Geelong. This would change the dynamics of both ports, with sig- nificant landside and infrastructure consequences. Over 1,000 new jobs would be created in Geelong. A report on this is due by the end of this year. The Minister stressed that no decision had yet been made, and that the report was due later in the year. Thorough consultation with an extensive range of stakeholders is to be an essential part of the process. Decongesting central Melbourne is a pressing objective, and the government will be researching considerations such as: technical feasibilities, infrastructure and capital implications; land transport issues; finances; competition and regulation; as well as impacts on import-export supply chain related industries. As part of this initiative, the government has already announced it will look favourably at developing the Port of Hastings as a major container port that will operate not under the Port of Melbourne, but under the new Port of Hastings Development Authority. The development of all Victorian ports generally is also being assessed in the context of regional development considerations. The considerable growth in projected port traffic is significant in the context of the National Ports Strategy. The Minister invited the federal government to work with the state by providing funding for landside reform, infrastructure and other development, announcing that Victoria would welcome the Commonwealth’s support to expedite Victorian government plans by becoming a genuine partner and ‘putting money on the table’. transfer information and exchange ideas about what needs to be done to build Australia’s transport networks. It is essential for us to move from ‘mode-by -mode thinking’ to ‘big picture logistics systems thinking’.