Undertaking end date
Company or individual details
NameTasmanian Ports Corporation Pty Limited
ACN114 161 938
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Tasmanian Ports Corporation Pty Limited (TasPorts) for the purposes of section 87B of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (Undertaking).
TasPorts is responsible for the maintenance and management of, where applicable, port berths, channels, wharves, landside assets, marine fleets and navigational aids at eleven sea ports in Tasmania. Under a deed dated 10 January 2014 between TasPorts, Marine and Safety Authority and the Crown in right of the State of Tasmania, TasPorts performs functions in relation to emergency response, pollution response, navigation aids, the provision of a pilotage service, pilot training and port communications.
TasPorts supplies towage and pilotage services in Tasmania and prior to 1 July 2018, was the sole supplier of those services at the major ports in Tasmania, including Port Latta.
Prior to 1 July 2018, TasPorts provided towage, pilotage and other services to Grange Resources Limited (Grange) at Port Latta. Grange is a publicly listed mining company that owns and operates ship loading infrastructure at Port Latta, which it uses to load vessels with pellets made from iron ore from the Savage River mine, which is operated by Grange and located in northern Tasmania.
In August 2017, Grange advised TasPorts that Grange was switching to a new service provider, Engage Marine Pty Ltd or its related bodies corporate (Engage Marine), following which TasPorts engaged in various conduct of concern to the ACCC under s 46(1) of the CCA.
TasPorts admits that by maintaining to Grange that it would need to pay a “marine precinct tonnage charge”, it engaged in conduct that was likely to have the effect of substantially lessening competition in the markets for towage and pilotage services in northern Tasmania, in contravention of s 46(1) of the CCA.
To address the ACCC’s concerns, TasPorts provided the ACCC with a section 87B undertaking ensuring that:
- Charges imposed by TasPorts on Grange, or any other person on account of or in connection with TasPorts’ regulatory functions at Port Latta are reasonable and cannot be varied to discriminate against the use of towage suppliers other than TasPorts at the port.
- Engage Marine has access to berth space at Inspection Head for two tug boats on reasonable commercial terms.
- TasPorts will invest, during the term of the Undertaking, a minimum of $1,000,000 on the wharf or other facilities at Inspection Head to mitigate the risk that deterioration of the wharf or those facilities disrupts or prevents the berthing of tugs or other commercial vessels at Inspection Head.
- TasPorts will take all steps required to enable port users to use TasPorts’ port communications system to book a towage service provided by Engage Marine at the ports of Burnie, Bell Bay and Devonport in northern Tasmania.