Planning Minister Matthew Guy
has announced a new port planning zone for three of Victoria’s major ports: Geelong, Hastings and Portland.
The new port zone will assist Victoria’s $23 billion freight and logistics industry which employs thousands of people across the state.
“Creating a new port zone will provide certainty and consistency for port operators, councils and communities, allowing for the development and expansion of port operations while protecting surrounding areas,” Mr Guy said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government has prioritised planning reform and investment to deliver flexibility for port operators and to ensure their competitive advantage both now and into the future.
"The Port of Geelong is the second largest port in Victoria and handled 13 million tonnes of cargo last year, with volumes set to increase to around 16.5 million tonnes by 2020. It is an important part of our freight network and an important asset that needs to be prioritised and maximised for bulk trade."
Mr Guy said the new port zone will ensure the City of Geelong and the port operator can get on with the job of planning and developing a regional freight and logistics precinct that Victoria can rely on.
“The Port of Geelong is a major piece of infrastructure for the Victorian economy – the Victorian Regional Channels Authority (VRCA) was appointed as Ports City coordinator in June to manage proposed infrastructure projects for the port, and already a $6 million dredging project has commenced, attracting larger ships and increased trade.
“Coupled with the government’s recent announcement of a $3.5 million upgrade in roads leading to the port, we are ensuring the port can service increased traffic including heavy vehicles such as B-Doubles and High Productivity Freight Vehicles.
“The Napthine Government’s integrated approach to planning and infrastructure will bolster competitive advantage through the supply chain, unlock trade growth and benefit Victorians from the regions through to the cities,” Mr Guy said.