Victoria Shadow Minister for Ports Denis Napthine
Right Decision For Hastings And Victoria
Victor P Taffa
Shadow Minister for Ports Denis Napthine has welcomed the Legislative Council’s decision last night to stand up for a strong, independent, competitive Port at Hastings.
The Legislative Council rejected Premier John Brumby’s proposal for the Port of Melbourne to take over and stifle the development of the Port of Hastings.
“Blocking this proposal was the right decision for Victoria, the Port of Hastings and the local community. This decision is also in the best interests of current and the many potential new port users.” Dr. Napthine said.
“Abolishing the Independent Port of Hastings and making it subservient to the Port of Melbourne Corporation would have stifled the opportunity for growth for a well-managed and properly developed port at Hastings.
“Indeed the Brumby Labor Government has made it clear that it will not even consider the development of a container trade facility at Hastings until at least 2035.” Dr. Napthine said.
“Under these short-sighted plans the Port of Melbourne and the surrounding inner city suburbs would be choked and our importers and exporters would be denied the benefits which would flow from a second competitive container port in Victoria.”
The Coalition believes development of the Port of Hastings should be fast-tracked to deliver increased competition and to cater for the massive growth in container trade into and out of Victoria.
Dr. Napthine said a Coalition Government would undertake effective, independent and up-front environmental, economic and social impact studies before proceeding with any further development of the Port of Hastings to ensure any such development was environmentally appropriate and would deliver strong economic benefits to the local area and the wider Victorian community.
“Under Labor the Port of Hastings has suffered from the effects of a litany of broken promises, ill-conceived plans and poor decisions.” Dr. Napthine said.
Dr. Napthine said only the Victorian Liberal Nationals Coalition would develop the Port of Hastings as an alternative Container Port.
“The continuing growth in container trade highlights the urgent need to fast-track the development of a container port at Hastings to deal with this growth which will benefit port users and all Victorians.”