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Victorian Government outlines Melbourne freight hub vision

<table width="493" border="0"> <tr> <td height="1256" valign="top"><p>The Victorian Government plans to replace the Melbourne Wholesale Markets on Footscray Road with a purpose-designed, metropolitan freight terminal. </p><p>The development &#8211 part of its 30-year vision to accommodate future trade growth as Victoria’s population increases &#8211 is set out in the Melbourne Port@L Consultation Draft and the draft Port Development Plan.</p> <p>State transport minister Peter Batchelor said today (Monday, August 14) that the Melbourne Wholesale Markets was due to relocate to Epping in 2010 and the Government had previously earmarked the land for freight purposes.</p> <p>In order for the port of Melbourne to maintain its status as the nation’s number one container port, it was crucial to make the best use of the port’s existing stevedoring, rail terminal and other infrastructure, he said.</p> <p>"As a city port, its growth is increasingly constrained by pressures to use the surrounding land for other uses," Mr Batchelor said. </p> <p>The Melbourne Wholesale Markets site has been identified as a key strategic site for intermodal facilities.</p> <p>A rail link from the terminal outer suburban intermodal hubs would form the basis of a world class intermodal freight hub at the port of Melbourne.</p> <p>The Department of Infrastructure is negotiating with the Department of Primary Industries and the Melbourne Market Authority to buy the land.</p> <p>Mr Batchelor said Victoria’s freight task would more than double in the next 30 years and five times as many containers would pass through the port of Melbourne by 2035 &#8211 the task growing from 1.4m teu to 7m teu a year.</p> <p>"The growing freight task will have major implications for how we manage port facilities as well as road and rail networks into the future," he said.</p> <p>"These plans outline a long-term vision for the port of Melbourne and its transport infrastructure, providing direction and certainty for industry, local government and neighbouring communities."</p> <p>The Melbourne Port@L Consultation Draft was developed by the Melbourne Port@L Board, which includes the chief executives of the Port of Melbourne Corporation, VicTrack and VicRoads.</p> <p>Other proposals in the Melbourne Port@L Consultation Draft include:</p> <p>&#8226 Maximising existing infrastructure, land and transport links in the Swanson Dynon precinct to handle up to 4m containers a year</p> <p>&#8226 Extending Swanson Dock north to create greater quay length for ships and accommodate larger deep draught ships, prioritising core container handling operations in the Swanson Dynon precinct, and gradually relocating non-core activities and non-port related freight to other parts of the Dynon precinct or to outer suburban terminals</p> <p>&#8226 Reconfiguring the road network around the port to improve movement of freight traffic and reduce traffic congestion and impacts on local communities, planning for the development of Webb Dock as a container handling facility once Swanson Dock reaches capacity, reconnecting rail between Swanson Dynon and Webb Dock, and improving road access to Webb Dock.</p> <p>The Port of Melbourne Corporation’s draft Port Development Plan sets out plans for the port to invest more than $2bn over the next 30 years, including expansion to handle trade growth and proposed use of land within the port precinct.</p> <p>Port of Melbourne Corporation chief executive Stephen Bradford said the port was committed to setting a clear direction for one of Victoria’s most important assets.</p> <p>"The draft Port Development Plan outlines plans to deliver a major capital investment program, boost the port’s ability to attract private investment and ensure the port develops in a commercially, environmentally and socially responsible way," Mr Bradford said.</p></td> </tr> </table> <br />