Leasing the Port of Melbourne

Overview

The Victorian Government has announced the Lonsdale Consortium as the leaseholder for the Port of Melbourne. The lease, worth $9.7 billion, reflects strong bidder interest and the port's value, as the biggest container and cargo port in the country.


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Treasurer's Message

The Port of Melbourne is the biggest container and cargo port in the country, visited by more than 3,000 ships each year. 

The Victorian Government is getting on with its commitment to lease the Port of Melbourne.

Lease proceeds will go to the Victorian Transport Fund to support projects like removing our 50 worst level crossings, building Melbourne Metro, the Western Distributor and other important transport initiatives.

The Fund will also support projects that help relieve traffic congestion and improve access to the port. 

The Victorian Government is already working to take thousands of trucks off the West Gate Bridge and to the Port of Melbourne by a new dedicated road link, easing congestion for city bound traffic from Geelong, Ballarat and the western suburbs. 

The Victorian Transport Fund is a boost for jobs, industry, our transport system, and it helps protect our triple-A credit rating. 

The lease will make our port even better, increasing efficiencies and competitiveness, and reinforcing Victoria’s position as the freight and logistics capital of Australia. That’s good news for producers and manufacturers who export all over the world, and consumers who want affordable products.

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TIM PALLAS MP

Treasurer

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Lease overview

The lease proceeds will go to the Victorian Transport Fund (VTF) to be used to support the removal of level crossings, and begin work on Melbourne Metro, the Western Distributor and other important transport initiatives.

The VTF will also support projects that help relieve traffic congestion and improve access to the port.

The Port of Melbourne is the biggest container and cargo port in the country, visited by more than 3,000 ships each year.

Only the port’s commercial operations are to be leased. The lease will help reinforce Victoria’s position as the freight and logistics capital of Australia.

The leaseholder will be responsible for managing and improving the port’s operations to move goods efficiently.  They will be obliged to maintain the port during the lease term so it is returned to public hands in good working order.

Victoria’s independent economic regulator, the Essential Services Commission, will oversee the pricing structure for port users. Annual tariff increases will be capped at CPI to protect Victorian producers, manufacturers, other exporters and importers, and consumers.

Public access walkways and bike paths for locals, visitors and neighbours’ use will be maintained. The iconic Station Pier will remain in public hands.

Ensuring safety, security and the environment

The Victorian and Commonwealth Government retain responsibility for regulating the port’s safety, security and environmental functions.  The lease is only for the port’s commercial operations. 

The Victorian Government will continue to be responsible for the Harbour Master, safe navigation in Port Phillip Bay, dangerous goods oversight, waterside emergency management, marine pollution response and towage regulation. The lease holder will be required to comply with all Victorian and Commonwealth safety, security and environment regulations.

Community benefits for now and the longer term

The port lease will make Victoria eligible for a 15 per cent payment from the Commonwealth Government to be invested in new infrastructure projects, such as Melbourne Metro. Leasing the port allows the Government to support funding the removal of level crossings.

Further information

Publications and reports

Media materials

Frequently asked questions