Regional Victoria is a major winner thanks to the successful leasing of the Port of Melbourne, with more than $970 million to be invested in regional and rural infrastructure projects.
The Lonsdale Consortium, comprising of the Future Fund, QIC, GIP and OMERS signed a lease of the port’s commercial operations for a term of 50 years. The lease, worth in excess of $9.7 billion, reflects strong bidder interest and the port’s value, as the biggest container and cargo port in the country.
Ten per cent of lease proceeds will be invested in regional and rural Victoria, totalling more than $970 million, creating jobs and supporting economic growth across the State.
The proceeds are available for infrastructure projects and programs that will benefit the agriculture sector, including transport, irrigation, and energy projects, as well as skills development programs and market access campaigns.
The Andrews Labor Government has also delivered a $200 million Agriculture Infrastructure and Jobs Fund to drive economic growth in our regions, creating jobs, boosting exports and supporting Victorian farmers from paddock to port.
Key projects already being supported include the next stage of the Macalister Irrigation Project in Gippsland.
Each member of the consortium is a highly experienced asset owner who will ensure the ongoing operational integrity of the Port of Melbourne. Lonsdale will also bring greater access to capital to ensure the ongoing development of the Port of Melbourne, further enhancing Victoria’s reputation as the leading port in Australia.
This will make it even better for our farmers with increased efficiencies and competitiveness.
Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews
“We promised that we would lease the Port of Melbourne, while ensuring our regional and rural communities get the support and funding they need to prosper and that’s exactly what we are doing.”
“We are putting people first with dedicated funding from the lease going to regional and rural Victoria, helping to create jobs and ensure our state stays number one for food and fibre.”
Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas
“Regional Victoria will be big winners from the lease, with significant funding to support projects they need, like better roads, and irrigation and energy projects.”
“Leasing the port reinforces Victoria’s position as the freight and logistics capital of Australia and will make a great port even better.”
Quotes attributable to Acting Minister for Regional Development Luke Donnellan
“Through this lease we are supporting our State’s vibrant regional communities, and putting agriculture back at the heart of Victoria’s economic development.”
“With the successful lease of the Port of Melbourne, regional and rural Victoria will go from strength to strength.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020