INDUSTRY bodies say they are working together to oppose an increase in the terminal access charge (previously the infrastructure fee) imposed by stevedore DPWA at its Fremantle terminal.

The increase from $8.22 per full container to $45.00 reflects similar actions by all major container stevedores on the eastern seaboard.

Container Transport Alliance Australia director Neil Chambers said he was working closely with Freight & Trade Alliance and the Australian Peak Shippers Association to oppose “massive price increases” across all ports.

Mr Chambers said Fremantle Ports was warned in late September of the “escalating threat” of infrastructure surcharge.

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“No more than a week later, the fears of shippers, freight forwarders and road / rail transport operators were realised when DPWA announced the increases, despite still being in terminal lease negotiations with Fremantle Ports,” he said.

Mr Chambers said he was encouraged by the response from Fremantle Ports CEO Chris Leatt-Hayter who described the DPWA action as “disappointing, given the substantial effort both parties have made to reach agreement on the new lease arrangements”.

FTA/APSA head of business operations John Park and Mr Chambers have engaged with Fremantle Ports and the office of the Western Australian Ports Minister.

Mr Chambers noted meetings between WA Ports Minister, Alannah MacTiernan and DPWA. “However, if this is not fruitful or adequate, CTAA / FTA / APSA will call for state government regulatory intervention as we have been advocating in the east-coast states,” he said.

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