Tuesday 23 June 2015
Victoria’s Second Container Port
The Coalition supports a medium-term lease of the Port of Melbourne together with the development of a second container port for Victoria.
This was also Daniel Andrews’ position before the election. The only debate prior to the election was whether the next container port should be built at Hastings or Bay West.
Daniel Andrews does not have a mandate for creating a long-term, private port monopoly which kills off the development of a second container port for 70 years.
Providing a private monopoly will cost jobs, damage Victorian trade with higher costs to exporters and importers which will be passed onto consumers.
With no second container port to keep up with growing trade and larger ships, the existing facility will need to expand over the coming 70 years which will require massive dredging and blasting of the Port Philip Bay heads.
This proposal will see Victoria lose its position as the freight and logistics capital of Australia with New South Wales likely to be the beneficiary.
Daniel Andrews’ proposal to insert a ‘poison pill’ clause into the contract exposes Victorians to massive compensation if a second container port is developed during the lease. As Victorians have learnt through Labor’s mishandling of the East West Link project and the desalination plant, Labor’s mistakes cost Victorians money and jobs.
As Daniel Andrews has no mandate for this proposal, the onus is on the Government to address these principal concerns.
The Coalition will stand up for Victorian jobs, trade and the environment. As Labor’s proposal will damage all of these, the Coalition will not support it.
The Coalition believes that Labor’s flawed proposal, for which they have no mandate, deserves far more scrutiny than it has received to date. We will therefore recommend the establishment of a thorough inquiry in the Legislative Council.