Newcastle Port shipping services decision commended

THE Australian Competition Tribunal’s decision on 31 May that shipping channel services at the Port of Newcastle should be declared under the Competition and Consumer Act is a sensible outcome, according to New South Wales Minerals Council CEO Stephen Galilee.

Lou Caruana

That will help protect the integrity of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain and the global competitiveness of the state’s most valuable export industry – coal, he said.

“The decision is a win for port users, the Hunter, and for NSW. It is the beginning of a process to ensure our valuable coal exports remain competitive and not subject to unjustified fee increases,” he said.

“Following the lease of the Port of Newcastle in 2014, shipping channel service fees increased by an average of around 40%. As the major user of the Port, this significant and unforeseen fee increase had the potential to damage the coal industry’s competitiveness, threatening exports and jobs.”

In May 2015 Glencore applied to the National Competition Council. Glencore’s application was supported by several industry submissions, including the NSW Minerals Council.

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