The Andrews Labor Government will take tens of thousands of trucks off local roads in the inner west, with two new projects to shift more Victorian freight on the rail network.
Major freight hubs in Melbourne’s north and west will be connected to the Port of Melbourne, with a $25.7 million investment that will see more than 70,000 containers moved on rail instead of on local roads.
Minister for Ports Luke Donnellan has announced $16.2 million to connect Austrak’s facility at Somerton and $9.5 million to connect the SCT Logistics facility at Altona to the Port Rail Shuttle Network.
The investment will see an additional $46m in private-sector funded upgrades, meaning that there’ll be nearly $2 of private investment for every $1 invested under the project.
The projects will help maintain the Port of Melbourne’s position as the largest volume container port in Australia, create hundreds of jobs and help deliver a reduction in transport costs.
Freight Victoria is currently assessing a proposal put forward by the Port of Melbourne Ltd which will deliver a ‘full on-dock’ rail solution by integrating the stevedore and rail terminals at the port.
As a result, funding allocated for port-side improvements will be placed on hold while the government considers the Port of Melbourne proposal to deliver the port side stage of a Port Rail Shuttle Network.
The Labor Government has also announced it is bringing forward a review into regulating pricing and charges, as well as access to and from the Port, following recently announced increases in stevedore infrastructure charges.
The Victorian and Australian governments have invested $58 million in the Port Rail Shuttle Network Project for initiatives such as providing rail connections which will improve terminal access.
An inland terminal in the south east remains a key priority for the Labor Government given its critical role in freight. Options to connect Melbourne’s south-east to the Port Rail Shuttle network are still being investigated.
Quotes attributable to Minister for Ports Luke Donnellan
“These projects will take tens of thousands of trucks off Melbourne’s streets, create hundreds of jobs and increase the competitiveness of Victorian industry.”
“There’s still more to be done, that’s why we’re considering the Port of Melbourne’s proposal to deliver a full ‘on-dock solution’ which on interim advice from Freight Victoria would reduce rail supply chain costs and meet the expected growth in container volumes at the port.”
“Whether it’s the West Gate Tunnel, North East Link, the Mordialloc Freeway or these port rail shuttle projects – only Labor is delivering the infrastructure we need to get trucks off our streets and give local roads back to local residents.”
Reviewed 19 August 2020