Inquiry into port lease to take three months


Upper House committee will report back to Parliament on November 23

Inquiry into port lease to take three months
Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy

 

Victoria’s upper house of parliament will review the enabling legislation for the Port of Melbourne privatisation, before it is allowed to take effect.

An eight-person committee will conduct the formal enquiry, consisting of three government members, three opposition members, a member of the Greens, and one of the remaining six independent and minor party members.

Opposition leader Matthew Guy says the port lease is too important to the state to rush.

"I think it is important that on a piece of legislation as important as this, that there is a sensible and strong level of transparency and that the parliament has the ability to hear from a number of industry stakeholders and affected parties," he says.

The committee will look specifically at the length of the port's lease, the value the state will get from it, and the potential impact that privatisation will have on exporters.

It is due to report back to the Parliament on November 23, within the timeframe set for the privatisation to occur early next year.

The inquiry comes as questions mount over the real value of the port and its leases. DP World has successfully pared back the high rental increases the port was asking of it, and the remaining stevedores are likely to seek similar deals for their terminals.

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