THE Victorian Government this month announced that detailed environmental and planning studies for the Port of Hastings container expansion will soon be underway, following the appointment of specialist consultants to undertake the work.
Ports Minister David Hodgett said the appointment followed a six month procurement period to ensure the right contractors were on board to develop the business case and complete detailed environmental studies over the next three to four years.
"The appointment of the five specialist study consultants demonstrates the highly detailed and comprehensive approach the Port of Hastings Development Authority is undertaking with the planning of the container expansion," Mr Hodgett said.
"The Port of Hastings container expansion is a priority for the Victorian Coalition Government and a project of national significance. A full assessment of the project in key areas such as port planning and design and environment will soon be underway to see this important development progressed."
The specialist consultants selected are:
- AECOM and GHD Joint Venture – Port planning and engineering;
- AECOM and GHD Joint Venture – Environment and social;
- Haskoning Australia – Hydrodynamics and dredge material management;
- URS Australia – Risk management;
- KPMG – Commercial and economic; and
- Corrs Chambers Westgarth – Legal services.
Member for Hastings Neale Burgess described the announcement as a major milestone for the project and great news for the region.
"The Port of Hastings will provide direct and indirect employment opportunities for the surrounding area and wider southeast region both in the development stages and later when the port is operational," Mr Burgess said.
"The expanded port will also stimulate investment in industry throughout the southeast of Victoria and provide substantial economic flow-on benefits for the rest of Victoria."
Port of Hastings Development Authority CEO Mike Lean welcomed the appointments and said he is confident the Authority will be well advised and supported during feasibility planning over the coming years.
"We have assembled an expert team of people and I am confident that exceptional results will be produced in the coming years," Mr Lean said.
"Each of our specialist consultants are highly regarded within their respective industries for their extensive experience and ability to provide high quality service."
The specialist consultants will commence work to plan for the next three years of studies that will help the Authority in producing a business case and seeking the necessary state and federal planning approvals.