Labor Passes Port Lease Legislation, To Get Victorians Home Safer And Sooner

The Andrews Labor Government is delivering on its commitment to lease the Port of Melbourne, remove our 50 worst level crossings, create thousands of jobs, and get Victorians home safer and sooner.

In a great outcome for Victoria and its regions, legislation to enable the leasing of the Port of Melbourne, the Delivering Victorian Infrastructure (Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction) Bill 2015, was passed by the Victorian Parliament today.

The lease proceeds, to be paid up front, will go into the Victorian Transport Fund (VTF). The VTF will support key infrastructure initiatives throughout Victoria. It’s a boost for jobs, industry, our transport system, and protects our AAA credit rating.

As promised, a new $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund will now also be established, driving economic growth in our regions, boosting exports and supporting Victorian farmers from paddock to port.

This will be part of the Labor Government’s significant commitment to rural and regional Victoria, to support investment in agricultural infrastructure and supply chains. This will boost productivity, increase exports and reduce costs so our farmers, businesses and industries can stay competitive.

The Labor Government has negotiated in good faith to reach agreement on a Bill that delivers a strong offering to the market and a positive economic benefit for all Victorians.

The Government has broken the impasse and struck the right balance, providing certainty and confidence, and enshrining competitive neutrality principles in the Bill.

The lease will make a great port even better, increasing efficiency and competitiveness and reinforcing Victoria’s position as the freight and logistics capital of Australia.

Victoria’s independent economic regulator, the Essential Services Commission, will oversee enhanced pricing protections for port users. The export discount will also protect Victorian producers, manufacturers, other exporters and importers, and consumers.

With the legislation now passed, the lease transaction’s Joint Financial Advisers, Morgan Stanley and Flagstaff, will soon call for Expressions of Interest from the market on behalf of the State.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“We promised that a Labor Government would lease the Port of Melbourne and use the proceeds to build key infrastructure, like removing our 50 worst level crossings. We’re keeping our word and getting on with it.”

“This is a great outcome for Victorians and a great result for its regions, with key transport initiatives across the State to provide a boost to the economy, which is good news for jobs.”

“We are delivering on our promises, and ensuring our farmers and regional communities get the support they need.”