The Property Council of Australia is excited about the announcement that the new Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett will approve the deepening of the Port Phillip Bay shipping channel prior to Christmas allowing work to commence on the $763 million project in early 2008.
Victorian Executive Director, Ms Jennifer Cunich said “The approval of this project by Minister Garrett will allow channel deepening to commence on time and will result in the Port of Melbourne being Australia’s leading port facility.
The Property Council has expressed ongoing support for this project providing environmental concerns could be recognised as this project will provide massive economic incentives to Victoria.”
“We have been urging the Victorian Government for a number of years to approve the channel deepening project, as a major infrastructure project for Victoria and the Property Council applauds the Federal Government approval of this project,” said Ms. Cunich.
Soon to be released research conducted by the Property Council of Australia shows channel deepening in Port Phillip Bay is the most valuable infrastructure project in Victoria, with the potential to add $14.8 billion to GDP by 2030.
“Victoria is going to reap the economic benefits of this project and will make the Port of Melbourne Australia’s number one shipping destination. Channel deepening is going to ease the current transport bottleneck, meet the current service gap and increase industry competitiveness,” said Ms. Cunich.
Ms Cunich added that she is disappointed to hear that the Blue Wedges environmental group is still going to pursue court action next month to attempt to reverse the Commonwealth approval.
“The Minister for Environment and Climate Change approved this project last month following a rigorous inquiry into the environmental impacts of the project. The project has been approved with strict environmental conditions that the Property Council supports and we are disappointed that Blue Wedge is planning to continue to stall the process,” said Ms. Cunich.
The Supplementary Environmental Effects Statement handed down on 1 October 2007 concluded the project to be safe, feasible and suitable under the relevant legislation and the Property Council looks forward to work commencing on the project in early 2008.
For further information please contact:
Rachel Saunders, Communications Manager, 9664 4230 or 0408 544 788