Ports and Terminals

ANL Press Release Aug 2015 - Port of Melbourne Lease Bill

Press Release – 4 August 2015 Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction – In need of a rethink

The Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction Bill is due to be debated in the Victorian Parliament in the near future and ANL, the biggest user of the Port of Melbourne, is calling for a rethink of major aspects of the Bill.

“This draft sale bill gives no clear way forward for the development of the port which has many serious issues in accommodating larger ships in the future. There is the limited draft at the heads, the limited swinging basin in the Yarra River as well as airdraft restrictions under the Westgate Bridge. The bigger vessels are coming to Australia and all the other major east coast ports are gearing up for them. If Victoria doesn’t then they will go elsewhere and this will put Victoria’s economy at risk,” said John Lines, ANL Managing Director.

In reviewing the draft Bill and the various announcements around the structure of the transaction, what is not clear is the way forward for the development of additional port capacity in the future. The previous Government had moved ahead with Hastings but that now seems to have come to halt. So what is the process going forward? How can a new port be developed within the 50 year time frame proposed in the draft Bill? What is the definition of full capacity and will it reference the physical limitations of the Port of Melbourne?

Port infrastructure development needs to commence well ahead of demand as the lead times are so long. It can’t wait until a port reaches capacity as then it is too late. Previous studies have shown the Port of Melbourne will experience significant capacity constraints by the mid 2020’s even with the extra capacity of the new container terminal at Webb Dock. The Port of Melbourne has long been the economic powerhouse behind Victoria and all industry that relies on the port needs clarity of the process and timing of new port capacity.

“Any lease transaction of the Port of Melbourne needs to have a clear path forward in terms of the development of extra capacity that will be required to support Victoria’s economy and accommodate the larger vessels that will be calling Australian ports in the not too distant future. Certainly this will happen not that far into the 50 year lease term proposed by the draft legislation,” said Mr Lines.

For further information contact:

Chris Schultz - General Manager Business Development

Email: schultzc@anl.com.au