Andrews Govt To Shift More Freight Onto Rail Network

Andrews Govt To Shift More Freight Onto Rail Network

Victoria Minister for Ports Luke Donnellan

Port Rail Projects To Take Trucks Off Local Roads

Victor P Taffa

Andrews Government will take tens of thousands of trucks off local roads in the inner west, with 2 new projects to shift more Victorian freight on the rail network.

Major freight hubs in Melbourne’s north and west will be connected to the Port of Melbourne, with a $25.7 Million investment that will see more than 70,000 containers moved on rail instead of on local roads.

Minister for Ports Luke Donnellan has announced:

  • $16.2 Million to connect Austrak’s facility at Somerton,
  • $9.5 Million to connect the SCT Logistics facility at Altona to the Port Rail Shuttle Network.

“These projects will take tens of thousands of trucks off Melbourne’s streets, create hundreds of jobs and increase the competitiveness of Victorian industry.” Minister for Ports Luke Donnellan said.

“There’s still more to be done, that’s why we’re considering the Port of Melbourne’s proposal to deliver a full ‘ondock solution’ which on interim advice from Freight Victoria would reduce rail supply chain costs and meet the expected growth in container volumes at the port.”

Investment will see an additional $46 Million in private-sector funded upgrades, meaning that there’ll be nearly $2 of private investment for every $1 invested under the project.

Projects will help maintain the Port of Melbourne’s position as the largest volume container port in Australia, create hundreds of jobs and help deliver a reduction in transport costs.

Freight Victoria is currently assessing a proposal put forward by the Port of Melbourne Ltd which will deliver a ‘full on-dock’ rail solution by integrating the stevedore and rail terminals at the port.

As a result, funding allocated for port-side improvements will be placed on hold while the government considers the Port of Melbourne proposal to deliver the port side stage of a Port Rail Shuttle Network.

Andrews Government has also announced it is bringing forward a review into regulating pricing and charges, as well as access to and from the Port, following recently announced increases in stevedore infrastructure charges.

Victorian and Federal governments have invested $58 Million in the Port Rail Shuttle Network Project for initiatives such as providing rail connections which will improve terminal access.

An inland terminal in the south east remains a key priority for the State Government given its critical role in freight. Options to connect Melbourne’s south-east to the Port Rail Shuttle network are still being investigated.