Port congestion charge a step closer

Victoria begins search for companies to implement a truck congestion charge at the Port of Melbourne

April 21, 2010

The Brumby Government has begun looking for companies to implement its proposed congestion charge for trucks using the Port of Melbourne.

Roads and Ports Minister Tim Pallas today called for expressions of interest for companies to deliver the Freight Infrastructure Charge collection service, which will be introduced in the second half of 2011.

The chare will apply to trucks accessing the East or West Swanson dock container terminals.

Pallas says the Government is currently consulting the trucking industry to work out an acceptable charge designed to encourage road freight operators to use the port during off-peak times.

He says the charge will ease congestion and lead to greater efficiency while also addressing community concerns about the number of trucks on Victorian roads.

"This charge, originally announced in the Government’s Freight Futures strategy, is aimed at maximising the efficiency of freight movements and use of the road network around the port," Pallas says.

Revenue from the charge will be used to fund infrastructure investment, such as the WestLink and Truck Action Plan projects which are designed to take trucks off residential streets.

Pallas says the freight task is continuing to grow alongside a rise in the number of containers being handled at the Port of Melbourne.

"This continued growth will place significant pressure on port road infrastructure and we need to ensure we make the right decisions now about how we can best utilise the freight networks," he says.

"Implementing this charge requires careful planning and we’re committed to thorough consultation to ensure a fair system for all operators."

Workshops will also be held in the coming weeks to update the industry on the structure and operation of the charge.

The charge is due to work alongside other freight efficiency measures, such as granting access to high productivity vehicles linked to the Intelligent Access Program (IAP) monitoring technology.

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