Botany reform threat hangs heavy

26 Nov 2009
Port Strategy:Sydney's Port Botany suffers from landside congestion

Sydney's Port Botany suffers from landside congestion

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Outgoing New South Wales ports minister Joe Tripodi warned Port Botany stevedores Patrick and DP World to improve efficiency or face reform by government regulation.

Mr Tripodi - surprisingly replaced recently in a Government shake up - said that the implementation of reforms to prevent truck congestion at terminals was being closely monitored.

Sydney Ports Corporation has also called the landside delays "clearly unacceptable".

Meanwhile, Sydney stevedores DP World and Patrick have refuted criticism from competition watchdog the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that margins are too high in stevedoring.

The ACCC in its annual stevedore monitoring report said that even during tough economic times, stevedores were able to achieve rates of return of close to 18%, reinforcing concerns about the degree of competition.

DP World countered that the good return was based on investment in new equipment, leading to productivity improvements. Patrick said any new stevedore entering the Australian market would find it extremely difficult to commit over A$1bn (US$931m).

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