AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Maribyrnong mayor to meet Bracks on port’s western push

<p>Maribyrnong City Council’s mayor will meet Victorian premier Steve Bracks next Thursday (June 29) in an effort to influence the Port of Melbourne Corporation’s expansion plans on the western bank of the Maribyrnong River.</p> <p>Mayor Janet Rice will also seek the release of the draft Port Development Plan and strategy. </p> <p>The council wants the port to cease buying land to the west of the Maribyrnong River and to repair Footscray Wharf as an entrance to public parkland and a commercial, tourism and shopping precinct.</p> <p>Pacific National may be drawn in, with the council agreeing this week &#8220to seek a meeting over the long-term lease arrangements for the Maribyrnong spur&#47goods line along the western side of the Maribyrnong River&#8221.</p> <p>The council also agreed to begin a public protest campaign if action was not taken.</p> <p>&#8220There has been extensive consultation between the port and the council,&#8221 Port of Melbourne chief executive Stephen Bradford told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN.</em> </p> <p>&#8220The port has acquired two industrially zoned sites in the city of Maribyrnong. </p> <p>&#8220We think our purchases are appropriate, as of benefit to the city of Maribyrnong showing confidence in the shire.&#8221</p> <p>While pointing out that the Footscray Wharf had been a port-related site on which the port had paid rates since the 1950s, Mr Bradford also expressed puzzlement over the council’s attitude to the rail spur.</p> <p>&#8220I would have thought the council would be supporting the active use of that rail spur as part of the port and the State Government’s objective of moving more containers from road to rail,&#8221 he said.</p> <br />