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The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) welcomes contracts being signed by the Victorian government with WSP and Seymour Whyte Constructions for the design and early contract works for the Port Rail Construction Project.
The $125 million project, announced by state ports and freight minister Melissa Horne and Port of Melbourne CEO Brendan Bourke, aims to create port productivity and efficiency improvements and reduce road congestion there.
"The VTA has long advocated for greater productivity gains at the port to make it an even more competitive destination for importers and exporters of freight," VTA CEO Peter Anderson says.
"Investing in rail in and out of the port will make transporting freight from distribution centres an even more seamless undertaking, helping to reduce pressure on the road network for motorists and road transport operators whose freight cannot be brought into the Port via rail.
"It is important to note this project is not about a net reduction in freight for road transport operators because attaining productivity and efficiency gains will enable the Port of Melbourne to attract greater volumes of freight, which is good news for road, rail and sea freight operators.
"As I often say, ships, planes and trains carry freight but only trucks deliver."
Works will include a new rail terminal interfacing with the container terminal at East Swanson Dock.
"This project will deliver a boost to our economy – improving efficiency for Victorian exporters and cutting the high cost of the ‘last mile’," Horne says.
"We will closely monitor the progress of this project and continue to work with the sector to improve rail freight in Victoria."
Site investigations will begin in March with construction expected to begin in July.
The project is set to be completed in 2023.
"This project builds on the Victorian government's commitment to get trucks off the streets of the inner west and make them safer and quieter for local families," state MP for Footscray Katie Hall says.
The VTA also welcomed the creation of Ports Victoria, bringing together in Gelong the Victorian Regional Channels Authority and the Victorian Ports Corporation (Mebourne).
"It makes sense to consolidate the operations of our ports and waterways bureaucracies, as recommended by the Independent Review of the Victorian Ports System," Anderson says.
"We look forward to continuing to work with stakeholders from the ports sector to help Victoria and the Port of Melbourne retain its position as the premier destination for freight."
This article first appeared on www.fullyloaded.com.au
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