My port plan is bigger than yours

April 2014

Judging by recent media reports it seems the Libs and Labs have descended into an unedifying blue about where they think a massive new port should be.


Those of us with longer memories than these politicians might recall that in 2009, when he was Minister for Ports, Tim Pallas told us Victoria would wither on the vine if we did not proceed with a massive new container port at Hastings. Now in opposition, Mr. Pallas and his cohorts are saying Hastings is a bad idea, and that we need a massive new port in Port Phillip Bay, near Avalon.

Nowadays it seems both sides of politics pander to the corporate sector to get re-elected rather than work to represent the citizens who elect them, and neither side of politics should be trusted with our priceless environmental assets.

We have a copy of the Port of Hastings Land Use and Transport Strategy 2009, with an opening ministerial message from a beaming Tim Pallas, then minister for Roads and Ports. Mr. Pallas said No other port location offers the same overall advantages as Hastings and it holds major economic potential for the State of Victoria and there is a fundamental need to plan and prepare now for the future development to ensure that the opportunity is not built out or lost to alternative uses.

He also said he and the Federal government recognised the strategic national importance of development at Hastings. Now he is gung ho for Bay West.

When in opposition Mr. Napthine told Blue Wedges supporters that he favoured a bigger port in Geelong, not Hastings, especially for car imports/exports. Now he is gung ho for Hastings.

We say we do not need more ports; we need a visionary national trade and transport strategy making use of existing deep water ports (Darwin, Brisbane) closer to our trading partners and a reinvigorated national rail and coastal shipping network. It is time to prepare for a very different future. What an excellent investment for our Future Fund.

And we need a new economic model based on an intact environment not endless growth.
Instead we have a parochial stoush about who has got the biggest port plans.

We rest our case.

PS. Don't forget the free Westernport seminar next Tuesday 15th April in Hastings, sponsored by the Victorian National Parks Association. For details see:

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