Labor’s embattled Minister for Ports, Melissa Horne, has failed to rule out imposing a new tax on everything that is imported through the Port of Melbourne.
Under questioning in a Public Accounts and Estimates Committee (PAEC) hearing, Minister Horne said she would not rule out imposing a $15 charge on every container imported to pay for an on-dock rail solution.
This new $15 tax would be placed on every container imported through the Port of Melbourne, including those arriving at Webb Dock which will not have access to this dockside rail network.
The charge is proposed to remain in place for the life of the port lease, long after this rail project is built and the cost recouped, boosting the profits of the consortium who lease the Port.
On current container numbers, the charge will raise nearly $1 billion, but will likely be much more given the expected growth in container imports.
That’s almost $1 billion that will be added to the grocery bills and other purchases of all Victorians.
This new tax will just place further pressure on the household budgets of Victorian families already struggling with cost of living pressures.
Roma Britnell MP
Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight