FREIGHT Victoria chief executive Garry Button says effective management of freight is crucial in preserving Melbourne’s status as one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Melbourne has earned the “most liveable city” tag from The Economist Intelligence unit on several occasions, and while those caught in Punt Road traffic jams may grumble, the title has become a significant marketing item.

“Melbourne is regularly cited as one of the world’s most liveable cities. Keeping it that way will require us to find new and better ways of moving freight around,” Mr Button said.

“In fact it could easily be argued that the movement of freight, if we don’t get it right, poses more of a threat to our liveability than [any] other investment decisions the government makes.

“We want to preserve the things that make Victoria a great place to live, even as Melbourne grows to a city of 10m people.”

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Mr Button was also enthusiastic about rail, particularly the Inland Rail project between Melbourne and Brisbane and the Murray Basin Rail project.

“The completion of the Murray Basin Rail and Inland Rail projects will deliver an enormous boost to rail freight,” he said.

“It will see a rail network that separates freight from passenger services and it will see an upgrade in links to Portland for higher freight volumes for this key commercial port.”

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