Monday 19th Nov, 2018

Rail exercises mind of Melbourne boss

Port of Melborurne Corporation CEO, Brendan Bourke. Photo: David Sexton
Port of Melborurne Corporation CEO, Brendan Bourke. Photo: David Sexton

PORT of Melbourne chief executive Brendan Bourke says he’s excited at the prospects of getting more freight onto rail.

Mr Bourke was a panellist in a session at the Australian Grains Industry Conference in Melbourne.

The session was moderated by ABC television presenter, Emma Alberici, who asked the CEO what was “exercising” his mind?

“For us it is about the supply chain,” Mr Bourke said.

“It is about how you move the goods effectively from the barn through to the Port by either bulk or containers and making sure infrastructure is going to bring the best result in terms of service quality.

“We are actually working on a rail access strategy.”

Mr Bourke said there were currently 35 trains a week running into the port.

“I think there is opportunity to drive a lot more of the whole supply chain off the trucks and onto rail,” he said.

He noted the Victorian government had recently announced significant rail expenditure.

“From our point, we have to look at our on-port facilities around rail,” Mr Bourke said.

“I think we are underdeveloped in that context.”

He noted road traffic had continued to grow, year on year, whereas rail traffic hadn’t.

“There has been some good intent, but a degree of complexity in how (rail) works,” Mr Bourke said.

“One of the aspects of us being a private organisation is we can actually look outside the port-gate.”

He said the Port didn’t necessarily have to be in line with government although ultimately it was essential to work with government to get consistent outcomes.

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