On Tuesday 21 July the Federal Court made public its judgement in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) case regarding a container terminal for Newcastle.
Port of Newcastle CEO Craig Carmody shares his response to the publication of the Federal court’s judgement and what it means for the Port of Newcastle.
Any suggestion that Port of Newcastle wouldn’t proceed to build the container terminal if the restrictions were lifted are baseless and misleading. Port of Newcastle maintains its real-world view that a container terminal is entirely viable – and necessary – at the Port.
The judgment clearly accepts that Port of Newcastle has the ability to compete in the same market as Port Botany. The only factor preventing the Port from building the container terminal is the unfair restrictions placed on container movement above a TEU cap at the Port of Newcastle.
If there’s any doubt we’d build the container terminal, simply lift the penalty. Enable Port of Newcastle to maximise our commercial potential freely, and watch us build it.
We know there is appetite and support for a container terminal in Newcastle from NSW and international suppliers. Development of another container terminal in NSW, even whilst Port Botany still has capacity, would provide viable alternative and more cost-effective export routes for regional NSW suppliers, increasing their competitiveness and enabling Port of Newcastle to contribute even more to the State’s economy.
This legal decision does not alter Port of Newcastle’s desire to build a container terminal, nor our confidence that a container terminal at the Port is a diversification opportunity the Port, Newcastle and the Hunter Region needs.
Port of Newcastle has the ability to compete in the same market as Port Botany, and that NSW State Government Policy is the major constraint to this.
We await with interest the decision by the ACCC whether to appeal the Court outcome, expected next week.
Port of Newcastle
Port of Newcastle is Australia’s deepwater global gateway, the largest on the nation’s East Coast. Port of Newcastle is more than a port. It exists to build Australia’s prosperity with responsible, integrated and innovative supply chain solutions. With trade worth about $26 billion to the national economy each year, Port of Newcastle enables Australian businesses to successfully compete in international markets. The port currently handles 4,400 ship movements and 164 million tonnes of cargo annually, including dry bulk, bulk liquids, ro-ro, general and project cargoes and containers. With a deepwater shipping channel operating at 50% of its capacity, significant port land available and enviable access to national rail and road infrastructure, Port of Newcastle is positioned to further underpin the future prosperity of the Hunter, NSW and Australia. As custodians of the region’s critical asset, Port of Newcastle is diversifying its trade as it strives to create a safe, sustainable and environmentally and socially responsible future.