Infrastructure Victoria has been requested by the Special Minister of State to provide advice on the preferred sequencing, timing and location of investment in future Victorian commercial port capacity.

There are two questions we need to answer.

1. If and when we need to build a second container port, and what that means for the distribution of trades across Victorian commercial ports.

2. Whether a second port should be located at Bay West or Hastings.

The full scope of the advice requested is outlined in the Terms of Reference provided by government.

How we will answer the questions

As outlined in our first discussion paper published last year, the most important thing to acknowledge about planning for future commercial port capacity is the high degree of uncertainty about future conditions. There are a number of key factors that we need to consider as we prepare our advice including the:

  • ultimate capacity at the Port of Melbourne
  • future demand for Victorian import and export trade volumes, as well as interstate trade volumes
  • changes in international and national supply chains
  • distribution of trades across Victorian commercial ports
  • feasibility, advantages and drawbacks of a second container port at Port of Hastings or Bay West.

Our advice on planning for Victoria’s future ports capacity will be guided by assessing the economic, environmental and social impacts of these questions. We will consider the key factors we need to understand better so that we can build a range of plausible future scenarios. Ultimately, our analysis is about providing the government with advice to help it maintain its strategic flexibility in the context of significant future uncertainty.