MEDIA RELEASE

NSW Government - Andrew Constance, Minister for Transport and Roads  

Stevedores Told to Think Twice About Price Hike

Stevedores at Port Botany have been warned against slapping higher port surcharges on transport operators and exporters who are battling crippling drought in NSW.       

Minister for Transport Andrew Constance said it would be completely unacceptable for stevedores to increase their infrastructure levies anytime soon.

"This is a critical time for our agricultural exporters as they face unprecedented drought conditions. Our farmers and their communities are doing it tough, and they deserve as much help as we can give them now and into the future," Mr Constance said.

"Key stakeholders have raised concerns about the impact of increasing port charges in NSW that have potential to drive up the cost of everyday goods, as well as impacting the state’s economy and competitiveness of our exports.

"They have also raised concerns around the frequency and lack of justification for these increased charges passed on by stevedores."

The Minister has referred the matter of rapid price increases to the NSW Productivity Commissioner to investigate the impact on the supply chain.

"The NSW Government welcomes the investment stevedores make in improving the efficiency of our ports, however, greater transparency is required to restore confidence in the industry," Mr Constance said.

"Stevedores must act responsibly and immediately put a stop to any price hikes."

AFIF Comment

AFIF supports Minister Constance's call to the stevedores to put a stop to slapping higher port surcharges on transport operators and exporters.

Whilst the Stevedores may contend they are in a competitive environment and their increases are justified, this is simply not the case.

One stevedore's comments this week referring to criticisms of infrastructure surcharges by “squeaky wheels” as misguided, is at odds with with Minister Constance and industry's view.

The Minister has referred the matter of rapid price increases to the NSW Productivity Commissioner to investigate the impact on the supply chain.

AFIF looks forward to the NSW Productivity Commissioner's Report and Recommendations.

AFIF will continue to lobby government to legislate against unrestrained and opaque increases in terminal infrastructure surcharges.  

Minister Constance's Announcement          

Regards                    

AFIF Team