.

By LACHLAN MOORHEAD

THE Victorian Government is committed to investing in the Port of Hastings, according to State Treasurer Michael O’Brien.
Speaking at a breakfast held at Holm Park Road Pavilion in Beaconsfield on Tuesday and hosted by Gembrook MP Brad Battin, Mr O’Brien discussed the key agendas outlined in the State Budget and their potential impact on residents across the south-east corridor.
High on the agenda was the plan to privatise the Port of Melbourne under a 40-year lease arrangement while developing the Port of Hastings, with Mr O’Brien assuring those with farming interests that they would remain secure.
“In selling the lease on the Port of Melbourne, will there be protections in there for farmers and others who actually use the port in terms of port fees? The answer is yes,” Mr O’Brien said.
“At the moment, the Essential Services Commission which is an independent authority, sets port fees, port charges, because we acknowledge that there is a monopoly.
“We do that when we’re the government, we’re the ones who ultimately receive the benefits of those fees, so you can be absolutely confident that we will be retaining independent statutory price setting for port access fees as we have done when we’ve been the owners of the port.”
Mr O’Brien said the Port of Hastings would be developed into an adequate alternative to the Port of Melbourne once the latter reaches capacity.
“With the lease of the Port of Melbourne, we’ll be doing that in a time frame where we believe by the time Melbourne gets to its natural capactity constraints, that’s the time you want Hastings coming up,” he said.
“So you can progressively develop Hastings over the course of the lease of the Port of Melbourne and by the time Melbourne is coming to the end of that lease, you’ll be able to migrate the traffic over to Hastings.”
The News reported last month that the City of Casey had voiced support for the Coalition’s Port of Hastings development, while rejecting the Labor’s rival Bay West proposal.
Turning the discussion to agriculture investments, Mr O’Brien said the $35 million allotted in the State Budget to the government’s Food and Agriculture into Asia project was pivotal to support emerging export opportunities and continuing viability of areas such as the Bunyip Food Belt.
“We’ve had a lot of senior level trade missions where premiers and other people have gone to China, India, South-East Asia, that’s where there’s booming markets for our Victorian produce.”

  • Gladys Belle

    What electorate has Amanda Stapledon nominated for??? She is all over the shop and I am Very confused.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

More News

A teen was hit by a car overnight in Narre Warren while lying in the middle of the Princes Highway. ...

Eight men and boys have clashed in a violent all-in brawl including body-slams and a launched shopping trolley at a ...

A Doveton drug addict who burgled and robbed his own 95-year-old grandfather at least 14 times has been chastised by a ...

A reported lawsuit against spy-agency ASIO by two police officers stabbed by 18-year-old terrorist suspect Numan Haider at Endeavour Hills ...

The State Opposition has trashed the government’s proposal to restructure the CFA and MFB despite a lack of policy ...

Berwick breast cancer survivor Debbie Brettoner recently hosted her third awareness luncheon since being diagnosed in 2014. The 5 May luncheon underlined ...

Latest Sport

Only a week after losing Steven Spoljaric to Springvale South, Cranbourne have been dealt another bitter blow, with Matt Chasemore ...

DDCA TURF 1 GRAND FINAL PREVIEW HEINZ-SOUTHERN DISTRICTS v MORDIALLOC WHEN and WHERE: 25 and 26 March, Arch Brown Reserve, Berwick It was ...

DDCA TWENTY20 GRAND FINAL PREVIEW BUCKLEY RIDGES v CRANBOURNE WHEN: Wednesday 22 February, 5.15pm. WHERE: Park Oval, Dandenong. In one of ...