VTA to have its say on port access charge

Government agrees to meet industry on proposed access charge for trucks using the Port of Melbourne

By Samantha Freestone | April 27, 2010

The trucking industry will get a chance to argue its position on a proposed port access charge in Melbourne when it meets government officials next week.

The Victorian Transport Association will hold a meeting with the Department of Transport on May 4 to get an understanding of the freight infrastructure charge to be introduced at the Port of Melbourne.

If introduced, trucking operators will need to pay a fee to access the East or West Swanson dock container terminals from the beginning of the 2011-2012 financial year.

The plan is to encourage operators to use the port in off-peak times to reduce traffic congestion. Revenue will be used for infrastructure upgrades, the Government says.

"This is a vital opportunity for interested VTA members to understand the latest regarding the development of the freight infrastructure charge and to provide feedback to the department about the proposal and its implications," a spokesperson for the VTA says of the meeting.

A spokesman for Pallas says the government is intent on introducing the charge but will listen to what industry groups have to say.

"We are committed to implementing the charge and continue to consult with industry stakeholders to deliver the best possible system," the spokesman says.

The Government last week began looking for companies to implement the charge.

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

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