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C4MP welcomes 'small steps' in Port Strategy & urge 'early action.'

The Port of Hastings Development Authority has just released its ‘2018 Port Development Strategy.

The Committee for Mornington Peninsula (C4MP) has welcomed the release of the Port of Hastings Development Strategy and urged early action to implement its ‘modest recommendations’.

The report recognises the clear advantages and important environmental safeguards at the heart of the Port’s future, while proposing very modest steps to secure the opportunities for sustainable employment and economic growth.
The Strategy highlights how about 400 hectares of the 3,500 hectares of currently zoned industrial land that has been set aside for Port-dependent uses are outside any conceivable Port requirement.

Given the scarcity of job-creating industrial land on the Mornington Peninsula, the Committee is urging early action to makes this industrial land that is surplus to Port requirements available for broader industrial uses so investment is not forced to go away from the region.
To the Council’s credit it is has been working on this and we commend this initiative.
In its media statement welcoming the release of the Strategy, the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council said it “has lobbied for more industrial land and this strategy is the breakthrough needed”.
The MPSC release acknowledges ‘that the municipality is unable to meet business demand because suitable zoned land is unavailable’ and that the Port Authority recommends industrial use options for the land that is surplus to Hastings Port requirements.

MPSC Mayor Cr David Gill is quoted as saying: “This will create jobs and increase economic output on the Peninsula”. He adds: “The biggest demand is for marine related light industries which would be terrific for the Peninsula because of lower environmental impact and a high ratio of jobs”.

C4MP is very supportive of steps to create a Marine Industry precinct as the cornerstone of new industrial and technology parks on this industrial land that is not needed for the future of the Port.

These areas can host expanding local businesses, suppliers and value-adding activity that supports our economy, including in marine technology, systems and manufacturing; food processing & paddock-to-plate supply; engineering design & fabrication; and education and training, particularly for supporting local hospitality and tourism businesses.

Alongside fast-tracking the revisions to the current industrial zoning, the Committee is urging the Council to establish an investment attraction and facilitation program to show that it is open to and welcoming of businesses wanting to establish high value and sustainable businesses in the area.

Storage facilities are not the highest and best use of this industrial land, and we need to make it clear and give confidence that the Peninsula is business-friendly and open for quality job-creating investment.