The public discussion of the “Independent Review of the Victorian Ports System” is underway.
The purpose of the review is to assess the functioning and performance of Victoria’s port system. Of particular interest are the impacts on the system of policy, institutional and governance settings that fall with the remit of the State Government.
The State government also wants the review to support the development of a strategic policy and governance framework to guide the long term development of the sector and to identify specific reforms to improve system efficiency and effectiveness in the short to medium term.
The specific policy matters being examined include:
- Governance arrangements for state-owned port entities
- Regulation of key port services (pilotage and towage)
- Pricing and access arrangements at the Port of Melbourne
- Development of coastal shipping
Victoria’s Department of Transport says that the review will provide an important overview of the current function and performance of the Victorian Ports System and it will recommend future policy, governance settings and directions.
The review is being undertaken now as the sector was last reviewed in 2001. The State government explains that there has been “significant” changes in that time including:
- reduced rates of trade growth since 2008
- the completion of the Channel Deepening Project in 2009
- the engagement of a third stevedore in the Port of Melbourne in 2014;
- the long term lease of the Port of Melbourne to a private operator in 2016; and
- further work to assess the options for a second container port in 2017.
The independent reviewer is Mark Curry who is said by the Victorian Department of Transport to have broad experience in the areas of policy, strategy, governance and consultation. He also has 15 years of experience in marine, ports and freight policy.
Public submissions to the review are welcome.
Further details, including how to make a written submission, can be found on the Review’s homepage.
The deadline for feedback is 31 July 2020.