What is the Victorian Ports Review?

    The Victorian Ports Review is an independent Review into the Victorian ports system. It will help decide the vision, policy and governance for the ports sector and combine a number of ports reviews and plans already underway.

    Who is leading the Review?

    Independent Reviewer, Mark Curry, is leading the Review, including consultation. Mark’s experience crosses broad areas of policy, strategy, governance and consultation, including 15 years in marine, ports and freight policy and strategy.

    What is being looked at under the Review?

    The Review will deliver a refreshed vision, options and directions to develop Victoria’s port sector and provide a framework for consideration of a range of matters, including:

    • future governance structure of the State-owned commercial and local port bodies
    • price regulation and the role of competition in the ports sector
    • the effectiveness of safety regulatory arrangements
    • strategic planning and protection of the ports
    • coastal shipping; and
    • port sector engagement

    Why is the Review important?

    This Review will provide an important overview of the current functioning and performance of the Victorian Ports System; recommend future policy and governance settings and directions; and provide a sound basis for the development of the Victorian Ports Strategy.

    Why do we need yet another review into Victoria’s ports?

    A comprehensive review of the sector has not been undertaken since 2001. Since that time there have been significant changes in the external and internal operating environments for the ports. 

    These include:

    • reduced rates of trade growth (particularly containerised) since the Global Financial Crisis in 2008; 
    • the completion of the Channel Deepening Project in 2009;
    • the engagement of a third stevedore in the Port of Melbourne in 2014; 
    • the long term lease of the Port of Melbourne to a private operator in 2016; and 
    • further work to assess the options for a second container port in 2017, identifying Bay West as a likely location. 

    The current Review will take a holistic approach, enabling a reset of the vision, policy and governance settings for the ports sector and providing a contemporary context to progress the outcomes of the more specific Review projects.

    What is the Discussion Paper?

    The Discussion Paper will encourage more feedback to help develop recommendations for the Minister’s consideration.

    The Discussion Paper covers topics such as governance arrangements, regulation of port services, pricing and access arrangements at the Port of Melbourne and the development of coastal shipping. 

    It incorporates feedback provided in early stakeholder consultation.

    How do I provide feedback?

    Information about the Review, the Discussion Paper, how to make a written submission and respond to a survey can be found on this page. Feedback is open until 14 August 2020.

    All feedback will help inform recommendations as part of a final report, which is expected to be presented to the Minister for Ports and Freight by the end of this year.

    What are the timelines for the Review?

    The Minister for  Ports and Freight announced the Review at an Industry Roundtable on 30 January 2020. 

    The Review formally commenced in February 2020. Responses to the Discussion Paper close on 14 August 2020 and a final report is expected to be presented to the Minister for Ports and Freight by the end of this year.

    Will the Review examine port access and pricing?

    The Government engaged Deloitte to conduct a review of port pricing and access arrangements. 

    Deloitte has engaged with stakeholders and prepared a draft report and the findings were discussed with stakeholders at the Ports Industry Roundtable on 30 January 2020.

    Stakeholders can provide feedback on a proposed Government response as part of this discussion paper.

    Will the State’s local ports form part of the Review?

    Yes, Victoria’s local ports are a focus of the Review and port managers and users are being consulted to hear about their concerns and potential opportunities to grow viable and sustainable local ports.

    Will the Review investigate workforce and training issues?

    The recent Coastal Shipping project looked at how more support could be offered to the Victorian seafaring workforce. This included the decline of workforce skills in the sector.  The findings from this project will be an input into the Victorian Ports Review.