Victorian Government review of port regulatory pricing and charges
The Export Council of Australia (ECA) welcomes the Victorian Government’s announcement to bring forward a review of port regulatory pricing and charges.
‘This is a sensible move by the Victorian Government in response to what has been some extraordinary price rises by stevedores across Australia, but particularly in the Port of Melbourne’ said Export Council of Australia board director, Andrew Hudson.
In recent years, stevedores looking to boost their bottom lines and diversify revenue have either introduced or dramatically increased infrastructure access charges. With only a small number of stevedores operating in each port, and the due to the way the sea freight market operates, land side users have no choice but to pay these charges.
The Port of Melbourne has seen the biggest increase in charges, from $3.60 (excl. GST) at the start of 2017 to a planned $85.30 (excl. GST) at the start of 2019. Port Botany has seen increases over that period from $0 to $63.80 (excl. GST), and other ports around Australia are experencing similar increases.
‘We call on other state governments, as well as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to follow Victoria’s lead and have a close look at the charges that are damaging the competitiveness of Australian exporters’ said CEO of the ECA, Alina Bain.