Victoria’s roll-on, roll-off import and export car trade will be consolidated at a new location at Webb Dock after an extensive feasibility study found many impediments with a move to the Port of Geelong.
Minister for Ports Denis Napthine said the Department of Transport worked hard to explore the potential of shifting the car trade to Geelong but found significant issues with the lack of availability of suitable land, concerns regarding the shipping channel and considerable opposition from automotive industry stakeholders.
“Prior to the 2010 election, we made a commitment to conduct a feasibility study looking into the potential for the import and export car trade to relocate to the Port of Geelong,” Dr Napthine said.
“That report has now been finalised and unfortunately it found that this move would not be viable.
“The automotive industry raised a number of serious concerns that would have adversely affected their operations.
“These concerns include the lack of suitable land at the Port of Geelong which is required to conduct pre-delivery inspections on imported vehicles as well as to consolidate and prepare vehicles for export.
“Access to the shipping channel also proved to be an issue with ships facing delays due to restrictions in windy conditions, coupled with the fact the channel is one-way,” Dr Napthine said.
Dr Napthine said after announcing the expansion of container capacity at Webb Dock, the Government had further discussions with the automotive industry who made it clear that they opposed any move to Geelong.
“The automotive industry made it clear that their preference was to relocate to a new location at Webb Dock where there is sufficient land and round-the-clock access for shipping lines,” Dr Napthine said.
“Regrettably the lack of available land combined with channel access issues and strong opposition from the automotive trade mean the proposed relocation of the car trade to the Port of Geelong is neither feasible nor viable,” Dr Napthine said.