Protecting The Future Of Our Commercial Ports

20 July 2022

The Andrews Labor Government is protecting the future of commercial ports across Victoria.

Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne today released Navigating our Port Futures: The Victorian Commercial Ports Strategy, which sets out a 30-year framework to ensure an efficient and productive ports system.

The strategy is the result of the Independent Review of the Victorian Ports System, the most extensive ports reform review process in decades, with port authorities, transport operators and industry groups providing insight and feedback.

Navigating our Port Futures is a 30-year vision to achieve a commercial ports sector that’s responsive to market demands; is well planned and balances the needs of industry and community; is efficient, productive and resilient even as the global environment becomes more volatile; is safe and operates with clear roles and responsibilities.

The Labor Government is already working to meet these objectives – including continuing to work closely with the Port of Melbourne (PoM) to support the growth of the port and meet market needs. Improvements at the port include on-dock rail infrastructure at Swanson Dock linking the Port Rail Shuttle Network, shifting more of the metropolitan freight task onto rail and taking thousands more trucks off local roads.

Work is also underway on a ‘port supply chain guide’ to confirm roles and responsibilities of Port managers and promote shared understanding across the sector.

The Government began implementing several key changes recommended by the review in 2021, including establishing Ports Victoria, which combined the Victorian Regional Channels Authority and Victorian Ports Corporation Melbourne. Further reforms to pilotage and towage services have also been initiated.

The majority of actions to support the objectives laid out in the Strategy have an implementation timeframe of up to two, three or five years and will be reviewed and updated every five years to ensure they continue to service Victoria’s growing needs.

Approximately $26 billion of locally produced and manufactured exports pass through Victoria's commercial ports annually, handling almost a quarter of Australia's total food and fibre exports.

With freight volumes expected to more than double over the next thirty years, our four ports' safe and efficient operation remains key to our state's economic growth.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne

“We’re driving the biggest ports reform program in Victoria in decades – with this strategy critical to protect the future of our commercial ports and achieve a sector that’s responsive to market demands.”

“This strategy will ensure our ports operate in an efficient and productive way to support the system, meet the needs of all Victorians and continue to grow our economy.”

Reviewed 21 July 2022

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