Victoria to assess expansion potential

A ports strategy put together by Australia’s Government of Victoria will investigate the efficiency of the state’s ports and look at options for the possible expansion of coastal shipping.

The development of a port strategy is seen as critical if domestic shipping is to be encouraged to expand, to maximise the employment of Victorian seafaring labour.

In a statement, Freight Victoria said the efficiency of Victoria’s ports would be investigated along with links to the broader transport and distribution networks. The state government is “…seeking submissions from industry and the community to feed into development of strategic responses that will be included in the upcoming port strategy,” the statement said.

The government will establish a stakeholder reference group to support development of the strategy, made up of industry stakeholders.

Shipping Australia has indicated it will make a submission and be involved in the process.

Queensland rail terminal

The Port of Townsville in Queensland, Australia is set to benefit from new developments to boost freight throughput.

A new common-user rail freight terminal is to be built at Townsville and rail costs on the Mount Isa Line are to be discounted in order to boost mineral freight exports.

It is part of an investment by the Queensland government to promote mineral mining and exploration, in order to underpin the health of regional communities and jobs.

Queensland’s north-west contains about 75% of the state’s base metal and minerals, including copper, lead, zinc, silver, gold and phosphate deposits. Townsville is Australia’s largest exporter of zinc, copper, lead and fertiliser.

Currently, minerals are trucked to the port or if railed, are unloaded and then trucked the 12km to the port. Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the investment would improve reliability with better transport infrastructure. A common user rail freight terminal at the port will make the rail option more attractive.

Subject to business case completion and approval the port is to contribute AUS$18m to build the terminal which is expected to be commissioned by early 2022.

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