MacTiernan airs WA concerns on container access charging

By: Rob McKay

Port-owner WA supports federal approach if state avoids any disadvantage

MacTiernan airs WA concerns on container access charging
Alannah MacTiernan


Western Australian ports minister Alannah MacTiernan had amplified her concern at the present reality of the nation’s container logistics the stevedores’ control of port terminals to create landside revenue streams at the expense of exporters and importers.

MacTiernan also offers conditional support for a federal government-led approach to the issue.

Her statement follows that of Queensland transport minister Mark Bailey, who urges a Canberra-led approach to unregulated and unconstrained container access charges for port haulage and exploitation of port systems aimed at prompt return of containers and discipline filling booked slots.

The concerned  intervention is another from a steady line of relevant ministers in states that host major container ports.

Read Mark Bailey’s call for a national response to container access charges, here

"We are deeply concerned about rapid increases in infrastructure charges levied by stevedores across the country," MacTiernan tells ATN.

"In WA, we are using our bargaining position as owner of container terminals at Fremantle Port to cap large increases in infrastructure charges.

"The state government is currently negotiating leases with DP World and Patricks for container terminal operations at North Quay.

"We have made clear in these negotiations that we will not accept the massive price increases that we have seen at Eastern States ports.

"This is a clear advantage of State-owned port infrastructure.

"We would support a national approach to regulating port infrastructure charges, as long as any national model does not disadvantage Western Australia – which currently has considerably lower fees than other states."

The Western Roads Federation (WRF), which has joined fellow state and federal road transport organisations calling for action on the charges, backed the minister’s stance.

"We commend Minister MacTiernan’s comments on this issue," WRF CEO Cam Dumesny tells ATN, adding that a federal government approach is a priority.


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