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Privatising the Port of Melbourne could help the Victorian government develop the Hastings container terminal, Australian Logistics Council chief executive Michael Kilgariff says.
Speaking this week at a Committee for the Economic Development of Australia lunch in Melbourne, Mr Kilgariff spoke of the importance of investing in infrastructure to boost freight efficiency.
There were many key assets in Australia which could, he said, “be transferred to the private sector” which he argued is critical for national productivity, noting the benefits of the sales of Ports Kembla and Botany.
“We think port of Melbourne is ideally suited to be leased long-term to release funds for road and rail infrastructure.
“The funds raised could go towards the landside logistics at the port of Hastings, to which the Napthine government [is committed].”
Another option was for the Hastings and Melbourne ports to be privatised together.
“We appreciate the government has no plans to privatise the port of Melbourne,” he said.
He noted recent comments from state treasurer Michael O’Brien about investor interest in major assets such as Port Botany in New South Wales.
Mr Kilgariff also praised outgoing port of Melbourne chief executive Stephen Bradford for his efforts in operating the nation’s largest container terminal.
Michael Kilgariff will be joining the speaker faculty of the Asset Privatisation Briefing Day 2013 to discuss the recycling of brownfields assets for reinvestment in greenfields logistics assets.