Victoria’s leading transport advocate RACV has welcomed the long-term lease of the Port of Melbourne for $9.7 billion. RACV General Manager Public Policy, Brian Negus said the successful lease was a huge boon for Victoria’s road and rail investment strategy.
“This is a fantastic result which provides the opportunity for solid, long term, sustainable investment in road and rail infrastructure needed both around the Port of Melbourne and to cope with Melbourne’s massive growth.
“RACV looks forward to the State Government prioritising road and public transport infrastructure investment from the proceeds of the sale, and from the 15 per cent dividend to be provided to the state under the Federal Government’s Asset Recycling Scheme.
“This sale will ensure complete delivery of the Government’s level crossing removal program, and also deliver $970 million for projects in regional Victoria. It is critical that part of this funding is used to deliver road projects and improved maintenance to the many failing roads in regional Victoria.”
Mr Negus said the successful leasing of the Port of Melbourne together with the federal dividend also leaves head room to deliver other vital transport projects.
“RACV wants to see this funding directed to improved road and rail access to the Port of Melbourne with the expected increased volume of container trade through the port. This should include port rail shuttles to inland terminals as a priority to take the pressure off the road network.”
Mr Negus said that RACV also called for an immediate commitment to deliver the missing North East Link in the Metropolitan Ring Road, especially after the recent results of RACV’s Redspot survey revealed it is the gaping hole contributing to crippling congestion across the entire north east section of our city.
“Our priority has long been the North East Link. The support for this critical infrastructure project was loud and clear with four of the top ten - numbers 2, 5, 6 and 8 - all representing a call for the North East Link.
“This priority project also has clear benefits for the freight industry and we want a commitment now to get on with the detailed planning and building of this traffic corridor.”
“Comprehensive community consultation must be part of determining the preferred route for this critical infrastructure project and an independent transparent investigation of all available options is needed to determine the best outcome for all Victorians,” Mr Negus said.