Lease The Port, Remove The Crossings, Create 5000 New Jobs

The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with its commitment to lease the Port of Melbourne to support removing our 50 worst level crossings and get Victorians home safer and sooner.

Legislation to enable the lease, the Delivering Victorian Infrastructure (Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction) Bill 2015, was introduced to the Victorian Parliament this week.

The lease proceeds, to be paid up front, will go into the Victorian Transport Fund (VTF). The VTF will support the removal of our 50 worst level crossings and the building of Melbourne Metro, the West Gate Distributor and other important transport initiatives.

Removing level crossings will relieve traffic congestion, improve safety and create thousands of construction jobs. It’s a boost for jobs, industry and our transport system.

Only the port’s commercial operations will be leased. The Victorian and Commonwealth Governments will retain responsibility for regulating the port’s safety, security and environmental functions.

The leaseholder will be responsible for maintaining and improving the port’s operations, delivering efficiencies, boosting competitiveness and ensuring future port development is not compromised.

It will also maintain access to public walkways and bike paths for community use.

The lease will reinforce Victoria’s position as Australia’s freight and logistics capital – good news for producers and manufacturers who export all over the world, and consumers who want affordable products.

The lease will also make Victoria eligible for a 15 per cent payment from the Commonwealth Government to be invested in new infrastructure projects such as Melbourne Metro.

Victoria’s independent economic regulator, the Essential Services Commission, will oversee an enhanced pricing structure for port users. Annual tariff increases will be capped at CPI to protect Victorian producers, manufacturers, other exporters and importers, and consumers.

Once legislation has passed, the lease transaction’s Joint Financial Advisers, Morgan Stanley and Flagstaff, will call for expressions of interest on behalf of the State.

Quotes attributable to the Premier of Victoria Daniel Andrews

“Leasing the port means we can pay for the removal of our 50 worst level crossings and still protect our AAA credit rating.”

“Removing level crossings will create thousands of jobs and get Victorians home safer and sooner.”

Quotes attributable to Treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas

“The lease will make our port even better, increasing efficiencies and competitiveness, reinforcing Victoria’s position as the freight and logistics capital of Australia.”

“The Victorian Transport Fund will support projects that help relieve traffic congestion and improve access to the port. It’s a boost for jobs, industry and our transport system.”