Melbourne Labor Government’s proposed sale of the Port of Melbourne lease in its current form.
We are not opposed to privatisation and we support a medium-term lease on the port. But Labor’s proposal is a dud deal for Victorians, particularly country Victorians, and would damage the competitiveness of our export sector.
Melbourne Labor’s deal stops the development of a second container port, something both sides of politics supported before the election, but Labor has now abandoned.
Despite the fact the Port of Melbourne is heading towards capacity in the next 15 to 20 years, Labor’s Bill exposes Victorians to a massive compensation payout if a second container port is developed in the next 50 to 70 years.
Creating a port monopoly for the next 70 years creates a real risk that Victoria will lose trade and jobs to Sydney and Brisbane.
More particularly it will lead to higher costs for our exporters, which would be passed straight back to farmers and other exporters.
We have already seen port fees tipped to rise by around 800 per cent in one hit.
Dairy is one of the top exports through the Port, and Gippsland is home to a third of our dairy industry.
Dairying is the backbone of much of the local economy and many more of our local industries rely on competitive port arrangements.
Labor’s plan is bad for Gippsland, bad for jobs and bad for our economy.
Danny O’Brien MP, The Nationals member for Gippsland South.