INFRASTRUCTURE CHARGES HIGHLIGHT NEED FOR GOVERNMENT TO UNSHACKLE ACCC TO INVESTIGATE
Last week, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission reported its concern about stevedore price rises. The consumer watchdog also noted that infrastructure charges appeared to be shifting from shipping lines to transport companies as they are less able to respond to higher fees.
Just after midday today, DPWorld announced price rises for infrastructure charges levied on transport operators of 77.9% in Sydney. Melbourne (51.4%) and Brisbane (18.4%) also saw substantial increases.
Labor looks forward to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission undertaking a thorough analysis of the dynamics of this market, the level of infrastructure investment, to determine whether these increases are consistent with our competition laws, and the extent to which “revenue from the new charges is likely to more than offset cost increases associated with terminal rents, government taxes and rates” (p.10).
This episode is a further reminder of the value of Labor’s proposal to give the consumer watchdog a fully independent market studies function, so it can investigate these concerns immediately.
WEDNESDAY, 15 NOVEMBER 2017