Posted on 01. Jul, 2011 in News

The Baillieu Government has backed away from its commitment to deliver a major container facility at Port of Hastings within 10 years, Shadow Minister for Ports Tim Pallas said today.

“Work on the Port of Hastings facility hasn’t even begun, yet the timeline the Baillieu Government set itself to deliver the project has already blown out significantly,” Mr Pallas said.

“Ports Minister Denis Napthine has tripped up on his own unobtainable and unrealistic timeframes.

“Before the election, the Coalition promised to deliver a major container facility to the Port of Hastings within eight to 10 years.

“Mr Napthine reiterated the commitment when he stated that delivering the facility within eight to 10 years was “not only possible but necessary” (The Age, 27 December 2010).

“Yet the Minister has actually admitted the facility at the Port of Hastings won’t be delivered for 10 to 15 years.”

• In a media release dated 31 May 2011, accompanied with a “policy implemented” tag, the Minister stated that the Government was “committed to fast-tracking the Port of Hastings project, with completion expected in 10 to 15 years”; then,
• In his Second Reading speech to Parliament, the Minister stated, “the Government is acting now to ensure that a container port is developed at Hastings within the next 10-13 years.”

“The blowout of the timelines isn’t surprising when you have a Government that has done nothing but dither on the project,” Mr Pallas said.

“The Baillieu Government has only allocated $1 million to the project in this year’s Budget, which is a 30 per cent decrease from the previous Government’s commitment.”

Mr Pallas said the Baillieu Government needs to come clean about why time frames had blown out.

“Has the Government only now discovered that the time frames it had committed to were, as the Opposition has always maintained, unrealistic?” he said.

“When will the Government put in place concrete measures and real funding to meet its commitments and ensure the completion of the Port of Hastings development?”

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