ACCC wants grain port access arrangements improved

ACCC rejects port access arrangements proposed by major wheat exporters ABB Grain, Co-Operative Bulk Handling and Graincorp

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has rejected access arrangements at ports proposed by major wheat exporters ABB Grain, Co-Operative Bulk Handling and Graincorp.

The ACCC says port access arrangements must recognise the need for port operators to have flexibility to operate supply chains effectively, provide wheat exporters with fair and transparent access to port terminal facilities and provide clear process for managing demand for port terminal services.

The watchdog says the present arrangements the three companies have put in place are not acceptable.

"The ACCC considers that proposed port access arrangements developed by these three operators should provide greater clarity and transparency for Australian wheat exporters," a statement says.

"Ensuring all wheat exporters have fair and non-discriminatory access to ports will underpin a competitive wheat export industry."

The decision comes twelve months after the grain industry moved from a single exporter to 23 accredited wheat exporters.

ABB Chairman Perry Gunner says his company will work with the ACCC to achieve the most competitive wheat market possible.

"ABB remains committed to working with the ACCC to implement an access regime that provides the industry the necessary level of comfort about our open access approach," Gunner says.

"We are and have been since the original submission, actively engaged in addressing the points raised by the ACCC and providing additional information where required."

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