THE Victorian Government last week announced that proposed legislation to enable the leasing of the Port of Melbourne, the Delivering Victorian Infrastructure (Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction) Bill 2015, has been passed by the Victorian Parliament.
The lease proceeds, to be paid up front, will go into the Victorian Transport Fund (VTF). The VTF will support key infrastructure initiatives throughout Victoria.
"We promised that a Labor Government would lease the Port of Melbourne and use the proceeds to build key infrastructure, like removing our 50 worst level crossings. We're keeping our word and getting on with it," said Treasurer Tim Pallas.
"This is a great outcome for Victorians and a great result for its regions, with key transport initiatives across the State to provide a boost to the economy, which is good news for jobs."
With the legislation now passed, the lease transaction's Joint Financial Advisers, Morgan Stanley and Flagstaff, will soon call for Expressions of Interest from the market on behalf of the State.
Chief Executive of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, Brendan Lyon, described the bipartisan agreement and support for the Port lease legislation as very good news that "draws a line under the heavy politicisation of Victoria's infrastructure."
"It means a better Port, it releases funds needed to continue with the state's infrastructure agenda and it means more money from Canberra through the asset recycling initiative," Mr Lyon said.
"Bipartisan legislation is important because it shows investors Victoria has now returned to stable policy making and secure investment frameworks, which is all the more important given the East- West Link cancellation.
"While the port lease has been slightly delayed the political process has worked and sees an improved structure and cross party support, both of which are to the benefit of taxpayers and Victorian consumers."