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Wholesale Change Behind Port Plan?

Discussion in 'Industry News & Releases' started by TFPVic, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. TFPVic

    TFPVic New Member

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    Sep 3, 2005
    **Posted for your information and discussion amongst yourselves**

    BLUE WEDGES MEDIA RELEASE

    15TH AUGUST 2006

    WHOLESALE CHANGE BEHIND PORT PLAN… OR SHUFFLING THE DECK CHAIRS?
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    “State government’s vision for Melbourne is just more of the same” says Jenny Warfe, spokesperson for the Blue Wedges Coalition. “If current trends continue, the predicted doubling of trade by 2035 means more congestion, more imports and less Aussie jobs.”

    However, Philip Hopkins, Business reporter The Age August 15, 2006 claims “A WORLD-CLASS freight terminal at the Port of Melbourne is the centrepiece of a multibillion-dollar investment plan aimed at meeting Victoria\'s trade growth over the next 30 years”.

    The Age notes: “the plans dovetail with the project to deepen Port Phillip Bay\'s shipping channel, to which the Government has given its in-principle support, subject to environmental approval”.

    What Mr. Hopkins fails to report is that state government’s in- principle support, announced in 2002 was also subject to resolution of all technical issues and a sound financing strategy. In 2006, we’re still awaiting a sound financing strategy (nobody wants to pay), and numerous technical and environmental issues remain unresolved. These include:

    - dredging and safe disposal of millions of tonnes of contaminated sediments in the Yarra

    - dredging without rockfall incident (as occurred during the ill fated trial in 2005)

    - safe passage for deeper draught vessels through the treacherous entrance to the Bay

    - Managing the risk and consequences of potential Nitrogen cycling collapse in the Bay

    Meanwhile, Mr. Batchelor said the Melbourne Wholesale Markets were due to relocate to Epping in 2010. But the 2,500 businesses, tenants and users of the markets do NOT want to move, and have mounted a vigorous campaign to stay put – in a location which suits them and their clients.

    State government and the Port of Melbourne Corporation claim that the planned intermodal terminal, on the site of the Melbourne wholesale fruit and vegetable markets in Footscray Road, “will play a key role in having more freight carried into the port by rail”.

    Ms Warfe says, “In reality, the current market site is needed to extend Swanson Dock to accommodate larger ships and container storage. If government was really committed to more efficient handling of freight by rail they would spend the money currently ear-marked for channel deepening on improving interstate rail links.

    Regional Victorian exports – such as dairy produce – could leave the state by rail and be in the port of Sydney or Brisbane more quickly than if it came south to the port of Melbourne then onto a ship to Sydney or Brisbane, on the way to its final destination (usually Asia).


    Likewise, incoming containers bound for destinations beyond the Melbourne hinterland could be railed in from interstate deep water ports. The same amount of goods would leave and arrive in Victoria – just some by rail. No jobs would be lost, and more would be created in a reinvigorated and regionalized rail industry! Melbourne Wholesale Market tenants and clients could stay where they are – where they want to be – and “no need to Bugger the Bay” says Ms. Warfe.

    <span style=\'color:red\'>Stop bossing us around Mr. Bracks!


    State government’s vision "Melbourne Port@L Strategy" includes recommendations on the future of Webb dock (international containers by 2015). Feedback is invited on the consultation draft, then a final Melbourne Port@L strategy will be presented to the Government for endorsement. The deadline for submissions is October 9 2006. Have your say.

    Blue Wedges spokespersons:

    Jenny Warfe
    (03) 5987 1583
    0405 825 769

    Neil Blake
    0409 138 565


    www.bluewedges.org
     

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