AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Academic tackles Melbourne anti-dredging argument

<p>Academics lining up to take pot shots at the channel deepening project received one across their bows yesterday (Tuesday, January 29).</p> <p>With the <em>Age</em> newspaper running critical comment from tertiary educators this month, Dr Pieter Nagel, director of Victoria University’s Institute for Logistics and Supply Chain Management (ILSCM), took time out to say that the debate surrounding the expansion of the Port of Hastings as a better option than dredging Port Phillip Bay was a moot point.</p> <p>&#8220Immediate plans to dredge the entry to the Port of Melbourne and future proposals to relocate Melbourne’s port facilities to Western Port are two separate issues,&#8221 Dr Nagel said.</p> <p>&#8220It is not a matter of either or, rather these are better seen as complimentary developments as has happened in many ports throughout the world. </p> <p>"We are looking at an expanding economy which will require expanding port services.</p> <p>&#8220These services currently have a significant hinterland in the western region of Melbourne and they will need to be constantly expanded to adequately service this rapidly growing area.</p> <p>&#8220Dredging the entry to the Port of Melbourne will address real issues that are relevant for the immediate future &#8211 larger ships are a fact of life and the port needs to accommodate them."</p> <p>Dr Nagel placed the timing of port activity relocation to Hastings in the long-term. </p> <p>"This process would take more than 10 years to achieve and would have to be a gradual transition,&#8221 he said. &#8220It is a matter of detailed infrastructure development and literally billions of dollars of investment.</p> <p>&#8220With either of these plans the associated increase in road traffic generated by increased port traffic reintroduces the need for connectivity of road, rail and air services across Melbourne, as well as consolidation of freight and optimisation of infrastructure.</p> <p>&#8220The key to addressing the connectivity issues in Melbourne is to connect the Eastern Freeway to Footscray at the Ballarat and Geelong Roads intersection.</p> <p>&#8220This solution will enhance entry to the Port of Melbourne, present a solution to the currently congested Monash Freeway and the Westgate Bridge bottleneck, and also be a major economic stimulus for the economic development of the inner west.&#8221</p> <p>&#8220The inner west needs a serious strategic commitment which will sustain its future economic development. Strategies that address the Westgate Bridge issue, Monash Freeway issue, and entry to the grid via the Eastern Freeway &#8211 once Eastlink is complete &#8211 simply cannot be ignored.&#8221</p> <p>&#8220The Institute for Logistics and Supply Chain Management has developed a proposal for the development of a national logistics city, capitalising on the logistics related infrastructure in the north western and western regions of Melbourne, creating jobs, stimulating the economic activity and bringing significant levels of efficiencies to the supply chain for industries in Victoria.&#8221</p> <br />