Port of Hastings
What we are asking
To help us better plan for the future economic potential and industrial growth of Hastings we are asking for:
- Clarity on the timing of a Ministerial decision regarding the boundaries of the Port of Hastings Special Use Zone.
- Release of surplus land that will not be needed for future port development.
- Funding for strategic planning and community engagement to determine the
best uses for the surplus land. Options may include housing, agriculture, areas for conservation, and industrial precincts to support the energy transition.
What makes us unique
Western Port Bay is an area of high environmental value and sensitivity with international, national and regional conservation significance.
With limited land available for residential and industrial expansion on the Mornington Peninsula and the broader South Eastern region, this land within the urban growth boundary, has the potential to deliver homes and employment opportunities for the whole region.
The commercial significance of the Port of Hastings presents opportunities for economic benefits across several neighbouring municipalities, which must be balanced with protecting Western Port Bay’s unique environment.
Why this is important
The Port of Hastings is a state significant asset with key competitive advantages that make it attractive for future economic development and growth, including naturally deep waters and extensive land reserved for port-related purposes.
The Port trades in non-containerised commodities including oil and gas products, break bulk activities (including steel import/export) with a future focus on bulk and break-bulk trade.
Large areas of land around the Port (zoned Special Use 1) remain reserved for port-related uses indefinitely, despite Council advocacy for the release of surplus SUZ1 land. This release would allow for alternative productive uses such as housing, industry, conservation and agriculture, in support of the Hastings and Crib Point townships.
The Benefits, Supporting Evidence and Strategies
Council has consistently sought integrated planning and corresponding infrastructure investment from the Victorian Government, particularly for road and rail networks.
In August 2020, Council submitted feedback to the Victorian Government on the Independent Review of the Victorian Ports System Discussion Paper.
Council officers attended a stakeholder engagement meeting organised by the Department of Transport (DoT) in December 2021, to provide input into the development of a new Victorian Commercial Ports Strategy (VCPS).
The VCPS gives due consideration to the Council’s input, including the need for clarity regarding the Port of Hasting’s role in the ports system, moving away from the previous focus on the potential development of container handling facilities.
An important aspect of the VCPS is that it seeks to strengthen the statutory planning arrangements of commercial ports. This is to address the inherent tension between growing freight capacity requirements and a State/local planning policy that actively promotes the intensification and revitalisation of inner urban areas.
The VCPS recognises the importance of the planning scheme responding to, and appropriately balancing, these challenges. It seeks to manage the issue via collaborative work between the Minister for Ports and Freight and the Minister for Planning.
The Port of Hastings Authority is also due to release the next iteration of its Port Development Strategy in 2023.