Newcastle port seeks ACCC retraction on price sought

Port operator says theoretical figure has been used erroneously

Newcastle port seeks ACCC retraction on price sought
Newcastle's port


Port of Newcastle (PON) has issued a clarification regarding Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) access determination commentary in a bid to short-circuit concern amongst its users.

The port’s operating company says it has written to the ACCC to "correct market misinformation regarding port prices" as a matter of urgency and has confirmed it is appealing the ACCC determination.

At issue is the ACCC’s media statement on Monday regarding the Glencore access dispute.

Read the original report on the ACCC’s statement, here

That statement claimed that the port wanted to lift its 2018 navigational service charge to $1.36 per gross tonne (GT) "the Port of Newcastle had said that its 2018 navigational service charge should be boosted to $1.36 a tonne".

"PON has never suggested it intends to increase its navigation service charge to $1.36 per tonne or anywhere near that amount," a port spokesperson says.

"It is important that only factual information is in the public domain to allay any concerns or confusion within the international shipping community with whom the Port does business. "

The port says it wrote to the ACCC yesterday pointing out the error and seeking an immediate public correction.

"All parties involved in the dispute are aware that the $1.36 per tonne figure is simply a theoretical maximum number that could be charged if calculated using the regulator’s own ‘building block model’ pricing methodology," spokesperson says.

"At no stage has PON sought to increase prices to $1.36 per tonne or anywhere near that amount.

"This week’s ACCC’s decision will be subject to an appeal to the Australian Competition Tribunal.

"PON cannot comment further given the matter is subject to a continuing legal process."


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