THE Australian Competition and Consumer Commission wants Sydney’s Moorebank Intermodal Terminal leaseholder and operator Qube Holdings to submit a stronger voluntary access undertaking to allay concerns about possible monopolistic behaviour.
Commission chairman Rod Sims told yesterday’s Australasian Transport Research Forum the ACCC considers MIT to be nationally significant infrastructure, controlled by wholly-owned Qube subsidiary Sydney Intermodal Terminal Alliance.
“Given the prominence and likely growth of the Moorebank Terminal, we are concerned that, both now and in the future, SIMTA will have both the ability and incentive to charge monopoly prices, or frustrate access to Qube’s competitors,” Mr Sims said.
“We consider, and have stated publicly, that the envisaged contractual approach for open access to the Moorebank Terminal is flawed.
“A contractual approach does not involve a well-resourced and independent third party that could robustly assess the regime against an objective set of criteria, and enforce obligations on behalf of users in the event of a breach.
“As we see it, the downfalls of the contractual approach are deeply troubling, given the key role the Moorebank Terminal is expected to play in the Australian economy. Our view is that open access is best achieved via an access undertaking.”
Mr Sims said he understood Qube is considering amendments to its open access regime in response to the Commission’s concerns.
“I have also very recently received correspondence on this from the Moorebank Intermodal Company [the federal government owner of Moorebank] with whom we will further engage.”