The Port of Geelong, commercially operated by GeelongPort, is an economic linchpin in the G21 region as the largest bulk cargo port and regional port in Victoria.
The port has grown across 150 years, was privatised in 1996, and has 15 berths and 90 hectares of land across Corio Quay and Lascelles Wharf precincts.
GeelongPort manages its wharf and landside infrastructure and the Victorian Regional Channels Authority (Ports Victoria) is responsible for channel management and commercial navigation of commercial waters.
Primary cargo includes petroleum products, fertiliser, cement, bitumen, avgas, woodchips, phosphate rock and project cargo such as windfarms.
The Port of Geelong manages approximately 25 per cent of Victoria’s total trade – including 50 per cent of the state’s fuel supply, with more than 600 vessel visits per year generating $7 billion for the economy and 1,800 jobs.
GeelongPort expects significant additional growth during the next 15 years, further strengthening the port’s economic importance to the G21 region and state of Victoria.
GeelongPort is currently planning to invest $135 million in the development of a dedicated passenger and freight terminal for the Spirit of Tasmania ferry service, to commence in 2022.This landmark project will drive tremendous economic value for the G21 region including:
- creating 75 jobs in construction and 100 ongoing jobs once the terminal is operational;
- increasing tourism expenditure by $57 million in Geelong and $174 million in Victoria, by 2029-30; and
- growing critical freight and Victorian export opportunities into Tasmania.
GeelongPort is seeking $15 million in government support to help fund public road infrastructure upgrades to ensure the safe and efficient access to the terminal from Corio Quay Road. This funding will help connect visitors to the destinations that support the G21 region’s tourism economy and support critical freight connections now and into the future.
Brett Winter, Chief Executive Officer, GeelongPort.
Strengthening critical road, rail and channel links and protecting the availability of suitable adjoining land for port activities and related industries are essential to the port’s growth.
Road: Investment in public road infrastructure is required to guarantee the success and broader benefits of Spirit of Tasmania’s move to the region.
There is also a need for improved road access to the Port of Geelong precinct. Efficient movement of vehicles requires good connections to broader road networks and areas linking port-related use. In order to continue to grow the economic value of port trade, road connections between the port and priority road infrastructure must be improved.
Rail: The transition to higher usage of rail freight requires sufficient infrastructure to be accessible for the port’s commodities. The projected increase of total tonnage handled through the port by 2035 magnifies the need for accompanying rail network access improvement, particularly to the Lascelles wharf precinct.
Channel: The existing shipping channel depth restricts vessels being loaded to drafts between 10.8 and 11.9 metres. It does not allow access for fully-laden Panamax bulk carriers, creating a competitive disadvantage that threatens the port’s growth. Improving channel capacity will unlock supply chain benefits to current users and improve the viability of future trade options.
Land: Future trade growth at the port requires availability of suitable land for port activities and related industries. To ensure further development, land use zoning in the port area of interest needs to be compatible with port-related industry. Industrial-zoned land serves as a buffer. Existing planning protections are in place but must be maintained and potentially strengthened to secure the future of the port.
BENEFITS FOR VICTORIA & THE REGION
Each year GeelongPort manages more than 11 million tonnes of cargo, including 50 per cent of Victoria’s fuel supply. The tonnage equates to about 25 per cent of Victoria’s total trade, generating $7 billion for the Victorian economy and providing 1,800 jobs.
With strengthening of road, rail and channel freight links GeelongPort forecasts by 2035 being able to process 18 million tonnes of cargo a year, contributing $11 billion of trade to the state and regional economy, with provision of 3,100 jobs. A commitment to embed GROW training, employment and procurement principles in all government projects within the region.
The relocation of Spirit of Tasmania vessels to GeelongPort’s Corio Quay is expected to generate up to 75 construction jobs over the two-year build program, whilst increasing tourism expenditure by $57.3 million in Geelong and by $174.1 million in Victoria by 2029-30.
WHAT IS REQUIRED
- $15 million for essential road infrastructure to support the Spirit of Tasmania home port relocation to Geelong in 2022.
- Continued support in strengthening road, rail and channel links and protecting adjoining land, essential to the port’s growth.
A commitment by State and Federal governments to embed GROW training, employment and procurement principles in all government projects within the region.