Newcastle port storm

AN ATTEMPT by the Port of Newcastle to appeal a ruling by the Australian Competition Tribunal that shipping channel services be declared under the Competition and Consumer Act has failed in the Federal Court.
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Port of Newcastle in NSW.

Lou Caruana

This means prices and access terms can still be negotiated with the right to Australian Competition and Consumer Commission arbitration.

The court ordered the application for judicial review be dismissed and ordered the parties attempt to agree the appropriate order as to costs and if agreement is reached, the parties are to file consent minutes of order. 

“If the appropriate order as to costs is not agreed, each party is to file and serve within 14 days hereof, a brief outline of written submissions not exceeding five pages in length setting out and expressing its proposed order as to costs,” it said. 

“The issue of costs to then be determined on the papers,” it said.

The judgement is good news for Glencore, which originally applied to the National Competition Council seeking declaration of shipping channel services at the Port of Newcastle in 2015, after shipping channel service fees increased by an average 40% by the newly privatised port.

The National Competition Council ruled not to declare the service in January, 2016.

Glencore then successfully applied to have that decision reviewed by the Australian Competition Tribunal.