The project also involves the creation of direct and dedicated road connections that will include new on and off ramps linking the port directly to the M1 West Gate Freeway, removing port trucks completely from Williamstown Road. In addition US$10m will be spent on buffering and beautification works to protect the amenity for the local community.
As the county’s largest and busiest container port, Melbourne is south east Australia’s trading gateway to the world; growing trade demands forecast a doubling of container volumes within the next ten to twelve years.
Melbourne handles more than a third (about 36%) of the nation’s container trade. In 2011, throughput reached an Australian record of 2.5m teu, an average of about 6,800 teu every day. Flow-on benefits from its operations are significant for the Australian economy, with the port handling almost US$82bn of imports and exports per annum.
“This major infrastructure project is an exciting opportunity to cement Victoria’s reputation as the freight and logistics capital of Australia,” said Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu. “Container movements in and out of Melbourne is increasing at excess of six per cent every year and is tipped to reach 8 million teu by 2035,” he added.
According to Minister for Ports, Dr Denis Napthine, there has been “a significant amount of interest” from the private sector from the opportunities a third container terminal will bring to the port.
“The competitive bidding process for the right to build and operate a new facility at what is
already Australia’s busiest container port is expected to attract significant interest from
industry,” he said.