The Victorian Government has announced the appointment of an experienced maritime and freight executive as the inaugural Chief Executive Officer of Victorian Ports Corporation – Melbourne (VPCM).

Rachel Johnson will take up the position at VPCM, a new statutory authority which will be responsible for a range of maritime services and other activities retained by the State following the completion of the market process to lease the Port of Melbourne.

VPCM’s scope of responsibilities include management of commercial shipping in Port Phillip channels, waterside emergency and marine pollution response and the management of Station Pier as Victoria’s premier cruise shipping facility.

“VPCM has a vital role to play in coordinating safe navigation in Port Phillip channels for the 3000 commercial vessels which call at the Port of Melbourne each year,” Victorian  Minister for Ports Luke Donnellan said.

“VPCM will also assume responsibility for the Station Pier cruise ship terminal to ensure Melbourne benefits from the strong growth in that tourism sector.”

Ms Johnson brings strong leadership and management skills to VPCM drawing on her broad experience in freight and logistics in both private and public sectors as a senior executive with Transport for NSW and a former general manager with Westlink Motorway Limited.

She will commence in the role from September 5 2016.

“On behalf of the Board, I am delighted to welcome Rachel Johnson who will provide VPCM with the leadership and professionalism to establish effective partnerships with the new port manager, industry and stakeholders,” Port of Melbourne Corporation Chairman Mark Birrell said.

During the interim period leading up to the completion of the port lease process, Ms Johnson will report to Nick Easy, who remains as Group CEO of the Port of Melbourne Corporation and then intends to continue this role with the new private port manager.

“I look forward to working with Ms Johnson and her team, which will include the statutory role of Harbour Master for the Port of Melbourne,” Mr Donnellan said.

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