Tasmania joins national stevedore impost calls

State premier Will Hodgman calls on ACCC to intervene

Tasmania joins national stevedore impost calls
Will Hodgman


Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman has joined a chorus of voices calling for investigations into DP World’s recent fee hikes at the Port of Melbourne.

Prices per container will rise up to $85.30 for inbound and outbound goods shipped from January 1 next year, compared to a low of just $3.50 in early 2017.

As reported by The Australian, Tasmania relies on the Port of Melbourne to handle about 20 per cent of its exports, more than half of which go through DP World, and concerns exist other stevedores will follow suit in coming months.

"This is a very disappointing outcome and one which the Tasmanian government specifically raised as a concern directly with the Victorian government when they were planning to privatise the port in 2015," Hodgman says.

"We will be writing to the Victorian government asking them to rein in the excessive cost increases at the Port of Melbourne.

"We will also write to the ACCC [Australian Consumer and Competition Commission] in relation to these charges, which I’m advised will impact approximately 11 per cent of Tasmanian international trade."

DP World charge increase sparks new industry outrage. Read more, here

The mood has changed significantly since 2015, when the Hodgman government was "encouraged" by DP World’s commercial agreement with the Port of Melbourne on the pricing of its terminal lease, advocating to "ensure we are not unduly disadvantaged by the Port of Melbourne privatisation".

DP World’s decision has drawn ire from all corners of the industry, with Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) chief executive Simon O’Hara, accompanied by RFNSW members and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), raising the matter to federal transport minister Michael McCormack recently.

Industry awaits the ACCC Container Stevedoring Monitoring Report due for release late October as calls grow louder for the watchdog to investigate the stevedore fee hikes.


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