Stevedores to blame for delays: Sydney Ports

Sydney Ports blames stevedores for ongoing problems at Port Botany, and warns of government intervention

By Michael House | February 8, 2010

The Sydney Ports Corporation (SPC) says addressing ongoing congestion at its Port Botany facility is a priority issue but stevedores are holding up any hopes for the issue to be resolved.

A spokesman for says the corporation has been waiting since August 2009 for stevedores to commit to a process to reduce congestion.

"Sydney Ports has been waiting for six months for both stevedores to respond to repeated requests to agree to implement the operations performance management and provide a formal commitment in writing to implement these reforms," the spokesman says.

Under the management agreement, the spokesman says trucking operators and stevedores agree to a commercial relationship where a party pays penalties if they fail to meet agreed performance benchmarks.

The spokesman says the port may face government intervention if stevedores continue to be uncooperative.

"The NSW Ports Minister [Paul McLeay] has made it clear, as recently as January, that in the absence of a voluntary agreement the NSW Government will regulate the OPM framework," he says.

The NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association says there has been next to no improvements at Port Botany this year.

"It’s still the same old, same old at Port Botany," Mike Moylan, a port carrier and chairman of the ATA NSW container group says.

"There has been no indication from the government and the ports corporation on any timeframe on when anything will happen. Its just business as usual for us - operating in the dark."

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