THE $1.6 billion redevelopment of the Port of Melbourne has been cautiously welcomed by export industry leaders.
Incoming: the $1.6 billion redevelopment will help ease congestion on the waterfront
The Webb Dock project will include Melbourne's third container terminal and should be operational by late 2016.
Ports Minister Denis Napthine said the expansion would "prevent the state economy from going into meltdown due to debilitating congestion in our ports".
United Dairyfarmers of Victoria president Kerry Callow said it was "good news" if the expanded port reduced congestion. "We need a port that's efficient and cost-effective and minimises the costs on our industry," she said.
Australian Table Group Association chief executive Jeff Scott said he hoped the project would make Melbourne a more attractive location for container ships so growers could send their produce to Asia more frequently.
Australian Horticultural Exporters Association chief executive Maxwell Summers said he was also cautiously supportive of the redevelopment.