Competitiveness key under new port licence fee

VTA says Port of Melbourne's competitiveness must be ensured when a new licence fee is introduced

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | February 8, 2011

The Port of Melbourne needs to remain competitive and in line with international ports if a new licence fee comes in place, The Victorian Transport Association (VTA) says.

The Victorian Government is introducing an annual CPI-indexed $75 million licence fee to replace a tax on trucks using the ports. The move will see $1 billion raised over the next decade.

Deputy CEO Neil Chambers, who opposed the previously proposed freight infrastructure charge, says wharfage on full containers will rise by 50 percent, as will the wharfage on empty container imports or exports.

"At least we got rid of the unfair tax on trucks but we have to make sure it doesn’t make the port uncompetitive by applying these charges to other components by shippers and operators," Chambers says.

"We want to continue to ensure the Port of Melbourne is competitive and relative to the other capital city ports and also international ports – that’s a matter that the government and the Port Corporation have to work through."

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