PORT ANTHONY and Barrys Beach ports could be closer to reaching their full potential.
Gippsland Ports CEO Nick Murray was among the guest presenters at the recent South East Australian Transport Strategy (SEATS) Conference at Inverloch’s RACV Resort.
He provided an interesting presentation on the role of Gippsland Ports and outlined some exciting opportunities for the region in commercial shipping and development.
Michael Knowles and Leatrice Grundy from Qube Logistics, which recently purchased Barrys Beach, explained their role in the import and export industry and supply chain across Australia.
Barrys Beach will provide access to the Star of the South Energy Project.
“They have a real commitment and vision for the region and highlighted the opportunities and challenges in the future growth and development of Barrys Beach,” SEATS executive officer John Duscher said.
South Gippsland Shire councillor Jeremy Rich attended the conference and said the potential for the ports is immeasurable, but it would take extensive negotiations with all stakeholders to “see it through in an environmentally sensitive way”.
Exporting coal, milk, timber and fertilisers were just some of the possibilities which he said would ease the pressure on the transport corridors towards Melbourne.
Cr Andrew McEwen said at last week’s council meeting the potential of the ports could result in the return of rail to South Gippsland within 10 years.
SEATS includes delegates from New South Wales, across Victoria and the ACT.
Bass Coast Mayor Cr Pam Rothfield welcomed everyone, highlighting the significant growth of the area, the beautiful environment and the attraction of many visitors, the importance of tourism and industry and some of the transport issues across the Bass Coast Shire.
Peter Francis from the Bass Coast Shire provided a general overview of the progress of the preparation of the business case for the Stony Point to Phillip Island ferry.
Stewart Carson, General Manager Manufacturing, Supply and Logistics and Procurement from Burra Foods in Korumburra provided a detailed report on the business, the diversity of products and the logistical challenges and constraints to freight movement in and out.
Mr Duscher said the meeting was a highly informative, productive and very engaging gathering.
“It was great to see the tremendous growth and development in and around the South Gippsland and Bass Coast area.
“We again enjoyed the opportunity of networking with our members and industry leaders.
“Together we are able to tackle the transport issues that face industry and communities, lobbying for vital infrastructure improvements.
“We continue to build and strengthen our relationship with our network partners in challenging times and are encouraged with the progress on vital projects for our Region.”
The next SEATS meeting will be hosted by Shellharbour City Council in NSW in May.