Car shipment plan may be shelved
A plan to move Victoria's car shipment hub to Geelong, creating an estimated 1000 jobs in the region, could be shelved.
The Victorian Department of Transport is conducting a feasibility study into moving car imports and exports from Melbourne to the Port of Geelong.
Announcing a $1.2 billion redevelopment of the Port of Melbourne today, Ports Minister Denis Napthine said cars could either be shipped out of Webb Dock in Melbourne or Geelong.
"This is the final piece of the jigsaw in terms of our study of the car trade," he said.
"We will be talking to the car trade.‘‘There is no doubt the car trade have indicated they would prefer to stay in Melbourne and there are some issues in terms of land availability in Geelong."
Dr Napthine said an announcement on the future of the state's car shipment hub would be made shortly.
Announcing the feasibility study in February 2011, Dr Napthine said moving car imports and exports to Victoria's second largest port would provide a major economic boost to the Geelong region.
In a statement at the time he said it was estimated that relocating the car trade to Geelong would help generate up to 1000 jobs in the region and provide an additional $200 million in output to the local economy.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today the Geelong plan had already been abandoned.
"The problem is they don’t have the courage to look the people of Geelong in the eye and say that they have ditched this plan, the car trade is not going to the Port of Geelong and the 1000 jobs that they promised in a press release are just not going to happen," he said.