Waterfront & shipping

Port of Geelong acquisition raises preliminary competition concerns

The ACCC has outlined preliminary competition concerns with the proposed acquisition of the Port of Geelong by the Spirit Super Palisade Consortium in a statement of issues published today.

The Spirit Super Palisade Consortium includes a range of superannuation and infrastructure funds including the Diversified Infrastructure Fund managed by Palisade Investment Partners. Investors managed by Palisade also wholly own and operate the Port of Portland, a bulk commodity port in south-west Victoria.

High Court rules on determining access charges for Port of Newcastle

The High Court yesterday handed down its decision in Port of Newcastle Operations Pty Ltd (PNO) and Glencore Coal Assets Australia Pty Ltd (Glencore).

The High Court decided that Glencore was able to seek an access determination under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act in respect of navigation charges at the port. 

However, the ACCC is concerned about the implications of yesterday’s decision regarding the calculation of the navigation charge for port users to export coal from the Port of Newcastle.

Container stevedoring monitoring report 2020-21

The report presents the financial and operational performance of monitored container stevedores. It also has observations about key developments within the sector.

ACCC investigates Qube's completed acquisition of Newcastle Agri Terminal

The ACCC will conduct an investigation into potential competition issues arising from Qube’s (ASX: QUB) completed acquisition of the Newcastle Agri Terminal. As the investigation relates to a completed acquisition it will be conducted on an enforcement basis.

Qube notified the ACCC on 8 September 2021 and then completed the transaction on 30 September, despite requests from the ACCC to delay completion of the transaction after competition concerns were raised by market participants.

Privatise for efficiency, or not at all

Privatising assets without allowing for competition or regulation creates private monopolies that raise prices, reduce efficiency and harm the economy, ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a speech on Thursday.

Speaking at the 2021 ACCC/AER Regulatory Conference, Mr Sims discussed the need to either avoid monopolies, or if not then regulate them, to prevent costs to the economy arising from unfettered use of their market power.

Mr Sims put forward two possible solutions to avoid privatisations creating future unfettered private monopolies.

Court dismisses ACCC case against NSW Ports

The Federal Court has dismissed the ACCC’s proceedings against NSW Ports Operations Hold Co Pty Ltd and its subsidiaries Port Botany Operations Pty Ltd and Port Kembla Operations Pty Ltd (together: NSW Ports).

The proceedings concerned agreements, known as Port Commitment Deeds, which were entered into as part of the privatisation of Port Botany and Port Kembla by the NSW Government in May 2013, for a term of 50 years.