Port of Melbourne for sale - for peanuts!

March 2012

Premier Baillieu might be considering selling the Port of Melbourne for a mere $2.4 billion.

 That's  just a little over twice what we have just spent on digging deeper channels to “prepare for the PoM future”. And, that’s only one quarter of the $10 billion he intends to spend “developing” Hastings: http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/baillieu-flags-state-asset-sales-20120322-1vmzf.html

It’s insulting that Spring Street might value the Port of Melbourne at only $2.4 billion. Taxpayer shareholders recently spent around $1 billion on channel deepening and subsequent maintenance dredging to “prepare the Port for the future”. Taxpayers have invested in the Port of Melbourne for over a century (see history below*) and now we are expected to support its handing over to the private sector and then pay again to build Hastings port.

It’s time to join the dots. Dumping the Port of Melbourne and developing Hastings is about catering for Baillieu’s pet projects for Gippsland: export of brown coal, woodchips and coal seam gas it he can find it. With massive trains hauling this cargo through our Green Wedges to Hastings and Ports Minister Napthine’s proposed driverless trucks trundling up the Westernport Freeway from the Port of Hastings with assorted imports and we are approaching dystopia indeed.


* In 1877, Victoria's colonial government resolved to make the Yarra more navigable and engaged English engineer Sir John Coode. His solution was to change the course of the river by cutting a canal south of the original course of the river, shortening it by a mile and making it much wider. It also created Coode Island - a name still used today although the northern course of the river has long since disappeared. With these works, ships were now able to sail as far up the river as Queensbridge where a turning basin was constructed. Coode also oversaw the construction of Victoria Dock in swampland to the west of the city. This opened in 1889.......And we've been digging away at the Yarra now for over 120 years!

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