A DISCUSSION paper aimed at prompting analysis of Victorian ports policy has been released for public comment.

The paper is to form the basis of an independent review.

Announcing the discussion paper, ports and freight minister Melissa Horne said there had not been a comprehensive review of Victoria’s ports since 2002.

“In that time, there have been significant changes to the sector, most recently with the lease of the Port of Melbourne in 2016,” Ms Horne said.

“We want to explore what has changed in nearly two decades and whether the arrangements put in place at the turn of the century are still sufficient for the efficient operation of these key state assets,” she said.

“Victoria’s gross product is set to grow by $40bn over the next three decades and freight volumes expected to triple, so getting our ports operating in the most efficient way will become even more critical.”

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Reviewer Mark Curry said the discussion paper set out a range of themes, issues and options.

“In doing so, it incorporates information, ideas and views generated by a significant program of direct stakeholder engagement already undertaken during the review process to date,” he said.

Some industry sources have already questioned the document’s priorities, suggesting a lack of focus on seafarers and people who actually work at the ports.

Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback in response to the Discussion Paper by 31 July either through the survey or via written submission by email.

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