Mr BURGESS (Hastings) (09:42:49) — After arguing the same case for years, I was not surprised to read an article in the Age with the heading, ‘A bridge too far: warning bigger ships won’t be able to reach port of Melbourne’. The article of 10 November begins:
The next generation of bigger container ships bound for Australia will not be able to safely pass beneath the West Gate Bridge nor enter the Yarra River channel to reach the city’s port, costing Melbourne valuable trade, industry warns.
The warning follows the release of new data that shows Sydney overtook the port of Melbourne as Australia’s busiest last financial year.
Shipping and transport groups say the Andrews government’s failure to resolve looming constraints at the port of Melbourne has put Victoria at risk of losing import and export trade to interstate ports and even to New Zealand, with negative consequences for the health of the state economy.
The article goes on to say that last month the biggest container ship ever to visit Australia, the Susan Maersk, was able to dock at the port of Brisbane. The article continues:
Neil Chambers, director of the Container Transport Alliance Australia, said shipping lines were beginning to use larger ships to reduce transport costs and Melbourne risked losing trade to Sydney and Brisbane in coming years.
He then went on to say:
Melbourne is constraining the rest of Australia …
The Premier and the Treasurer, who is in the house, have been caught out again misleading Victorians and have done deals that have put a lot of money at their disposal but in return have allowed for enormous damage to be done to the Victorian economy, destroying thousands of Victorian jobs.