VICTORIAN Premier Denis Napthine last week announced $110 million to progress the Port of Hastings development, saying it reaffirms the government's vision for the ports and freight sector and recognises the sector's contribution to Victoria's economic growth.
Dr Napthine said the funding, to be provided over four years, would be used to complete the work required to start building a world-class container port with land-side transport connections at Hastings.
The works include completion of preferred scope design works, transport connection planning, preliminary work to support environmental approvals processes, business case development and procurement and delivery strategies.
"Decisive action is being taken to build a second Victorian container port and ensure this State remains the freight and logistics capital of Australia," Dr Napthine said, adding that containerised trade in Victoria is predicted to quadruple by 2035.
The Port of Hastings is located approximately 72 kilometres south-east of Melbourne and more than 3,500 hectares of land around the port has been zoned for port related uses.
Ports Minister David Hodgett said the Port of Hastings would complement the Port of Melbourne, which is currently undergoing a $1.6 billion expansion of container and automotive capacity.
However, the Minister said that even with the current expansion project at the Port of Melbourne, Victoria will reach capacity by the mid-2020s. The development of the Port of Hastings as a second container port aims to relieve future congestion.
"When completed this multi-billion dollar development of the Port of Hastings will ultimately provide capacity for 8 to 9 million containers, which is almost double the current container capacity of the Port of Melbourne," Mr Hodgett said.
Earlier this year, the Victorian Government awarded five packages of work valued at $2.3 million to advance planning for the development of the Port of Hastings as Victoria's second container port. The work, which is now underway, includes a port development strategy, hydrodynamic modelling and ecology and risk management studies.