New container port planning needed now so Geelong can plan for
Since the pioneering years of the 1830s and 1840s, the Port of
Melbourne has been at the heart of commerce and trade in
180 years after the first ships arrived, it has become one of
the world's most significant container ports handling more than
7,200 containers and 1,000 new cars on average every day.
That's around $108 billion worth of trade every year. And as
demand grows, our state's focus must increasingly be on securing
Victoria's future port capacity.
As the Port of Melbourne grows from today's almost three million
TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units) to a maximum capacity of perhaps
8 - 11 million TEUs, a new container port for Victoria will become
The Committee for Geelong believes building the new port at Bay
West clearly makes the most sense - but the decision-making process
should begin right now.
The Committee strongly supports Infrastructure Victoria's advice
that Bay West is the preferred location for a new container port
for Victoria, because of its transport, land use, environmental and
amenity advantages over alternative sites.
It is evident that much more informed work is required, but
Infrastructure Victoria's advice is clear: "Bay West can initially
handle overflow container capacity from the Port of Melbourne, and
is also well suited to becoming Melbourne's future container port
in the long term".
While Infrastructure Victoria's advice on Securing Victoria's
Port Capacity states that detailed planning for a second container
port should start around 2040, it emphasises that "land use
planning actions to secure necessary second container port land and
transport corridors need to be taken as soon as possible".
Deakin University's respected Centre for Supply Chain and
Logistics also advances the view that "Bay West offers the
opportunity to develop a world-class landside and maritime port
Like Infrastructure Victoria, the Centre argues that "planning
and corridor reservation for a second container port at Bay West
needs to occur without delay to ensure Victoria's economic and
social wellbeing is future-proofed".
"Relatively cheap land suitable for logistics related activities
and construction of freight and intermodal terminals is readily
available near Bay West," according to the Centre's investigation
of a second container port for Melbourne.
The Committee for Geelong believes that all levels of Government
should heed such advice and start planning now for a new Bay West
container port. It is vital that land use planning and
infrastructure corridors are reserved now for all future
Such a significant project would go a long way to securing a
strong and sustainable future for Victoria's second city,
particularly with the prospect of thousands of construction and
on-going jobs likely to be created.
On basic cost grounds, Bay West is the superior option: close to
$13 billion to expand Hastings, compared to an estimate of up to
$6.5 billion to develop Bay West.
The Bay West option also delivers important environmental
advantages, including less impact on land and water biodiversity
With Infrastructure Victoria and Deakin University's Centre for
Supply Chain and Logistics both suggesting planning should start
now, all levels of Government have an opportunity to seize the
moment and make positive strategic decisions that will help to
build and secure Geelong's future.