My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Ports, and it is in relation to the future sustainability of the port of Geelong. Geelong is Victoria’s largest regional port and one of the largest multi-cargo facilities in the country.
Over 12 million tonnes of cargo a year are handled at the port. It is responsible for roughly 5000 jobs in the region. Importantly for a region that has faced several large industry closures, and with the closure of the Ford plant looming, the port of Geelong has significantly increased its gross tonnage and total visits are up by 200 ships a year in the last decade to over 660 a year.
This trade is worth billions of dollars. It is primarily in gas and petroleum, with grain, woodchips and fertiliser also being important trade commodities. Geelong handles about 25 per cent of Victoria’s bulk cargoes. This is a success story for a regional port which plays a vital role in the economic health of my electorate.
However, as always, the world continues to change, and it is important that Geelong maintains its place at the forefront of regional shipping.
In light of the government’s intention to lease the port of Melbourne, I ask the minister to detail how the interests of the Geelong community will be accommodated in the process and how the future sustainability of the port of Geelong will be maintained and grown.