Habitat has recently written to the Premier of Victoria urging the Victorian Government to facilitate the implementation of the SALTA/AUSTRAK proposal to move containers on existing rail lines between the Port of Melbourne and inland ports. Habitat has also provided an independent evaluation comparing this option with current plans to invest billions on road infrastructure. You can download this evaluation as attached to the letter to the Premier. See below. Our conclusion is that getting a significant proportion of primary freight on to rail will take many trucks off our roads, and delay the need for expensive road investments.
Habitat has previously developed a proposal for a smart, stand-alone Primary Freight system connecting the docks to Inland Ports. Recognising that the development and implementation of such a system would inevitably take ten years or more the Trust turned its attention to identifying what might serve in the short and medium term. As a result it recommends that the system being advanced by Salta and Austrak would serve this purpose well, and importantly, keep Melbourne’s Ports competitive with Sydney’s. We conclude that “there is an incontrovertible case for the Victorian Government to act now to authorise, and facilitate the relevant implementation processes for, the Salta/Austrak proposal so as to have it operating before the end of 2016.”
A copy of the letter and the comparison document can be read below.