Currently, 100 per cent of Melbourne’s imports and exports are transported by truck. How crazy is that? The port-rail shuttle could transfer more than half – some 3500 truck movements a day – The analysis found those truck movements could be replaced by 56 daily train trips between the port and the three suburban freight hubs. The $58 million rail shuttle would shift 1.4 million containers a year to and from the port, GHD predicts, and reduce heavy vehicle emissions by 23,000 tonnes. The port-rail shuttle project has been suspended despite having $58 million of state and federal money committed to it last year, dismaying businesses eager to see the huge transfer of container freight from trucks to trains.
Otherwise, how about saving the foreign exchange cost of all that dirty diesel and, especially, use electric train power from zero carbon sources? News yesterday was that Premier Andrews had signed off on Western Distributor, a road part elevated part tunnel, $5.5Billion. Looks like winner is Transurban, a big Australian playing tax haven antics as shonky as Microsoft & Co. Winner without competitive tender!! No doubt, with both Port and toll roads by private sector, chance for rail will be strangled. Can we really afford “efficiencies” of private sector any more? Costs go up and services fall apart leading to blackmail of taxpayers for subsidies. Let’s keep Port public. Surely much cheaper to borrow to get rid of level crossings City wide?