DPW Australia price hikes ‘could have been higher’

15 Mar 2017

Controversial stevedoring infrastructure charges introduced by DPW Australia could have been higher if the Port of Melbourne Corporation had carried through with proposed rent rises two years ago, Australia’s competition watchdog has said.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims, addressing the Australian Logistics Council Forum 2017 in Melbourne, said that connections to “privatised monopolies” were a cause of price hikes but also pointed to what would have happened had the Port of Melbourne, then owned by the state government, succeeded with massive rent increases at West Swanson. Mr Sims argued the transport industry had to be more vocal in its comments on such charges.

DPW Australia, which has imposed higher infrastructure fees at Melbourne and Port Botany, welcomed Mr Sims’ comments. Chief executive Paul Scurrah said the introduction of the levies were reflective of the commercial realities facing terminal operators across the industry.

He said that DPWA had improved truck turnaround times and invested in both road and rail infrastructure during the past three years, while having to meet increased occupancy costs including higher rent, land tax and increased council rates.

The infrastructure charges have drawn criticism from industry bodies including the Container Transport Alliance Australia which has taken legal advice on how to fight the surcharges.

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