This discussion paper provides an overview of the evidence Infrastructure Victoria will consider in developing its advice to the Special Minister of State on when and where the Government should invest in new container port capacity for the State.
This is not our advice to the Minister, it is the information, data and analysis we have collected to date. We must provide our advice to the Minister by May 2017. Our future advice to the Minister will help ensure that the Victorian Government is well placed to make an informed decision about when to invest in new capacity, and whether that capacity should be at the Port of Melbourne, or at a new port at either Bay West or Hastings.
From the evidence collected thus far it is clear that all options have pros and cons for the Government to consider. The release of this discussion paper and body of evidence is the next important step in our consultation process to help develop our advice.
In September 2016, we released our discussion paper Preparing advice on Victoria’s future port capacity, which sought to begin building understanding and consensus among the community and stakeholders on the key factors we should consider as we prepare our advice. We heard from many different groups and this feedback has helped shape our work and inform this paper.
Our consultation summary paper, released together with this paper, provides more detail on what we heard and how it has been used. You can view this document on our website. Our advice on when we might need a new port and where it should be located must be based on the best available evidence. We have used existing studies, undertaken new technical investigations and consulted with key stakeholders and local communities over the past six months to develop this evidence.
As our work has progressed, it has become clear there are a number of factors that will be critical to our advice on when to invest in new capacity and where. These are:
- Ship size: what size ships, and how many, are likely to want to visit Australia, what is the biggest ship that can access the Port Phillip Heads, and how much we value being able to accept an unrestricted ship size.
- Cost of complementary infrastructure: the capital and operating cost of the complementary transport infrastructure to support each port.
- Environmental and social impacts: the impact expanding the Port of Melbourne or developing a new port would have on significant environmental and social values, and what that means for the difficulty of securing environmental approvals. T
This paper explains the evidence we have gathered on these factors, as well as other issues that need to be considered when planning new port capacity, such as trade and container demand forecasts. We have had our work and technical reports peer reviewed. This evidence is available in our document library at infrastructurevictoria.com.au. Consistent with our approach, we are releasing this evidence to help promote understanding and build consensus on our evidence base. We are now inviting stakeholders and the community to consider this evidence and bring forward any further evidence they may have, before we deliver our advice to the Minister in May this year.