A further $400 million will be invested at the Port of Melbourne to consolidate the import and export auto trade at Webb Dock.
The works will expand Melbourne’s existing automotive terminal capacity to handle in excess of 600,000 vehicles annually and will also deliver world class, on-dock pre-delivery inspection (PDI) facilities.
Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said this would bring the overall investment in the Port of Melbourne Expansion Project to $1.6 billion and create an additional 420 jobs during the construction phase.
“The automotive aspect of the Port Expansion Project will see the construction of 920 metres of new wharves, more than 1,000 supporting piles and 24,000 square metres of concrete decking,” Mr Baillieu said.
“The auto industry employs more than 40,000 people across Victoria, and building world class automotive facilities at the Port of Melbourne helps protect these jobs and grow Victoria’s economy.
“Despite tough global economic conditions, Australian-made cars, parts and engines continue to be exported around the world with Toyota dispatching ships carrying Camrys and other models every week from the Port of Melbourne.
“Combined with the delivery of a new container terminal and expanded capacity at Swanson Dock, this development will directly generate 1,100 jobs and secure employment for many thousands of people across the state,” Mr Baillieu said.
Minister for Ports Denis Napthine said the Victorian Government was implementing a sound strategy for the state’s commercial ports.
“This $400 million investment is the largest commitment to an automotive terminal in Australia,” Dr Napthine said.
“Importantly, this project will provide facilities for all PDI operations to take place on-dock. This involves minor works carried out to vehicles prior to delivery,” Dr Napthine said.
“At the moment, about 60 per cent of all imported vehicles are trucked across the West Gate for PDI processing in the western suburbs; with about a third of these vehicles then returned across the West Gate a second time for delivery to eastern Victoria.
“By consolidating all PDI at the Webb Dock site and utilising the new terminal’s direct access to the M1, this project will create efficiencies for the industry and encourage further investment from the private sector.
“The Coalition Government is committed to addressing the needs of Victoria’s rising demand for freight. We have already announced increased container capacity to meet short to mid-term demand at the Port of Melbourne,” Dr Napthine said.
The Victorian Government has also committed to the development of the Port of Hastings, about 70km south-east of Melbourne, to address mid- to long-term growth in demand for container freight.
“The upgrade of the state’s automotive import export facilities at the Port of Melbourne means Victoria will remain a vital export gateway for one of the state’s largest manufacturing sectors,” Dr Napthine said.
The automotive component of the Port Expansion Project will be entirely funded by the Port of Melbourne Corporation with the port to undertake a competitive bidding process during the second half of 2012 to appoint the operator of the new automotive terminal and the PDI sites.
19 Jun 2012