VICTORIAN opposition infrastructure spokesman David Davis says he will be working to moderate increased fees and charges at the Port of Melbourne that have arisen since privatisation two-and-a-half-years ago.

Mr Davis also raised concerns about the ability of rail to service Webb Dock in the long term.

“The port fees and charges are increasingly a concern. People know that the [Melbourne] port was sold and part of that was a long-term lease

“That ought to have more successfully managed the surge in port charges and fees,” he told the gathering.

“We are concerned about the impact of these increased fees and charges on your sector, but also on the economy more broadly.

“We will certainly be doing what we can to put some moderation in those charges but it does appear the state government has allowed a very significant surge in charges.”

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Mr Davis also spoke of his concern surrounding rail access to Webb Dock.

“The rail access to Webb Dock I think is a significant issue. You can’t build these major new developments without keeping an eye on the movement of goods,” he said.

“The risk is if you don’t, that you actually impede [the movement of goods]. That is a disaster potentially for the state.”

He also spoke of the risks of overlooking freight needs more generally.

“You have to be careful about rolling about bike lanes ‘willy-nilly’,” he said.

“People have put to me some of the issues around our arterial roads and the need to keep a focus that will in fact put freight to the fore.”

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