Freight Rail

Rail vital for new Melbourne container terminal, says industry group leader

DP World West Swanson Dock, Port of Melbourne. Photo: David Sexton

Victorian Transport Association chief executive Peter Anderson has focused on change in his opening presentation to Freight Outlook 2016, particularly regarding Port of Melbourne.

Addressing seminar delegates at the Carlton Brewhouse, Anderson focused on the issue of congestion and how rail could help alleviate it.

“We’ve got a new (terminal)… at Webb Dock. We would love to see that connected with rail,” he said. “Rail and road must go together.”

Anderson noted the significance of the Port of Melbourne more generally.

“I was down at the Port of Melbourne the other day and they were talking about 165 containers a day of furniture coming into Melbourne and 284 containers of retail goods.

“That is just Melbourne.”

He welcomed the announcement of plans for a Melbourne metro rail system but also noted some concerns surrounding the private leasing of the Port of Melbourne.

“The port sale is interesting. It is a very high price ($9.7bn) and the fear for industry is that it will want to be recouped (by the leaseholders) and is 50 years long enough to recoup.

“That is one of the biggest fears the industry has is that there will be a need and a desire and a will to be able to get that back out of commercial transactions.”

This article originally appeared on Rail Express affiliate site Lloyd’s List Australia.