Tag: hastings

Why I believe in the expansion of Port of Hastings

As an environmental activist, you'd think I'd be against the proposal to build a container port at Hastings, but I'm actually all for it. This is my future, and the future for our kids.

It can't be argued that Melbourne needs to build another port in order to stay competitive in a key part of the state's economy; goods trade. This trade drives tens of thousands of jobs, and keeps our economy alive. The basic problem is that Melbourne is a growing city (half a million in last two years), and our sheer population is a challenge. While it would be ideal to preserve every inch of our native environment, we have to make room for basic infrastructure. Sir Henry Bolte planned the Port of Hastings way back in the 1960's. The Ramsar wetland was extensively studied in the 1970's to assess its suitability to host a port. And studies have been ongoing.

We can put a container port at Hastings with very little environmental disturbance, compared with any plan to try to get the next generation of container ships through Port Phillip Heads. The wetland will tolerate the minimal movement of the sediment required to create the berthing areas and swing basin. Ships won't discharge ballast into Western Port Bay, and there will be no coal, bitumen or urea plants associated with the port.

The Port of Hastings expansion is very important to the prosperity of the Mornington Peninsula. Thousands of jobs will be created, in all areas of our local economy. Local business and even mum & dad companies will benefit. The shops that are now standing empty in Hastings will fill. Infrastructure like public transport and telecommunications will improve.

We can't escape the fact that we need a port to cope with Victoria's container goods. If we don't embrace the Port of Hastings, other communities will gladly take this opportunity to give their district a future.

We as a community must now take up the environmental challenge, and ensure that the port being built at Hastings meets the highest environmental standards, and protects the wildlife we adore.

No matter which party wins government, please ensure that Hastings is the site for our container port, as has been planned all along. The future of Victoria depends on it.

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