Infrastructure Australia has released a discussion paper that will be submitted to Government to use when considering the development of a second container port in Victoria.

Infrastructure Victoria was requested by the Government to provide advice on the future need, timing and location of a second container port in Victoria by May 2017.

Infrastructure Victoria Chief Executive Officer, Michel Masson, said the body of evidence is the result of many months of technical investigations and engagement with stakeholders and local communities.

“Our advice on when we might need a new port and where it should be located must be based on the best available evidence,” Mr Masson said.

“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 base on when we might need a new port, and where it should be located.

“This is not our advice to the government, it is the information, data and analysis we have collected to date.”

The discussion paper and evidence consider demand projections, the potential capacity of the Port of Melbourne, the navigation of Port Phillip Heads, the availability and cost of road and rail transport links, design, staging and costs, and environmental and social impacts.

“To determine when a new port might be needed, we have looked at various options to expand the capacity of the Port of Melbourne, recognising that we should first explore how to get the most out of our existing infrastructure,” Mr Masson said.   

“What is clear from the evidence is that the options of increasing capacity at Port of Melbourne or developing a new Port at Hastings or Bay West have both issues and potential solutions that all need to be considered.

“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 government in May this year,” Mr Masson said.

Infrastructure Victoria is seeking formal submissions to inform the advice. Community drop-in sessions will also be held in Hastings, Hoppers Crossing and Melbourne throughout March. Consultation on the evidence base is open until 5pm Monday 3 April.

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