Melbourne Airport breeds cargo growth

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Melbourne Airport reported that it was the only major Australian airport to increase airfreight imports and exports over the past year.

The airport provided an overview of its performance to an audience of more than 700 people from business, government and the wider community at the Melbourne Town Hall on Monday.

Exports of merino breeding rams to China increased by more than 3,000 percent for the year.

“The Victorian rural sector is raising the bar internationally, and high-quality Victorian breeding stock is in high demand,” Chris Woodruff, Melbourne Airport CEO, said.

Melbourne Airport’s capital expenditure for the 2013/14 year increased by 67 percent.

“This private expenditure is supporting our transformation and the Victorian economy as well as creating more jobs,” Woodruff said. “Next year alone, we expect to invest around $700 million as part of sustained 10-year investment period.”

Major investments at the airport include a new domestic terminal, 21 more aircraft parking bays, expansion works within the international terminal and road network upgrades including Airport Drive, a new entry to Melbourne Airport that will connect directly with the M80 Western Ring Road.

There are warehouse and logistics facilities underway for TNT, Toll Group and DHL.

During the year, Melbourne Airport’s 2013 Master Plan was approved by the government and includes the proposed orientation for the third runway. An extensive consultation and approval process for the airport’s runway development program is underway.

Woodruff encouraged the federal government to secure better outcomes for international air services agreements.

“The consequences of not expanding these arrangements are not just for airport and airlines – it’s also our tourism, business and education sectors which rely on international visitors,” he said. “Our exporters will also lose out on valuable business opportunities.”

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