Emerald’s port access arrangements set to be extended


ACCC plans to allow Emerald Logistics to extend its access conditions at the Port of Melbourne.

Emerald’s port access arrangements set to be extended
Emerald Logistics operates on Appelton Dock at the Port of Melbourne.

 

Existing conditions governing third-party access at Emerald Logistics’ Port of Melbourne terminal are likely to be extended.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has proposed an extension and variation to Emerald’s Port Terminal Services Access Undertaking, which is due to expire on September 30.

Emerald operates the terminal facility for bulk wheat and other commodities at Appelton Dock.

It has an associated entity, Emerald Grain Australia, which exports bulk wheat. The undertaking is designed to ensure third parties using Emerald’s terminal to export are not discriminated against.

A new code of conduct is slated to begin on October 1 to replace the undertaking, but Emerald has asked the undertaking be extended until September 30, 2015 in case the code is not ready.

The ACCC says the provisions are essentially unchanged from the current ones governing third-party access at Emerald’s terminal.

"The ACCC considers that the combination of a one-year extension and ‘early expiry’ clauses is a practical and appropriate response that provides certainty to industry about the immediate arrangements at Melbourne Port terminal," ACCC commissioner Cristina Cifuentes says.

Emerald says the proposed extension is to provide regulatory certainty in the event the code of conduct does not begin next month.

Its application proposes to maintain existing features of the 2013 undertaking, such as obligations not to discriminate in favour of Emerald Grain Australia, and conditions relating to negotiations, dispute resolution and access allocation.

The ACCC says the only substantive proposed variation relates to early expiry provisions, which state that the undertaking may expire before the scheduled date of September 30 if Emerald is no longer required to have the undertaking in place.

Although the ACCC plans to sign off on Emerald’s proposal, it is still seeking feedback from stakeholders by August 22 before it makes a final decision.

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