PATRICK Terminals representatives say they were surprised by comments from New South Wales Minister for Transport Andrew Constance regarding infrastructure charges.

As reported in DCN, Mr Constance announced he was referring stevedores’ infrastructure charges to the NSW Productivity Commission, describing as “completely unacceptable” for stevedores to increase infrastructure levies anytime soon.

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A Patrick spokesperson told DCN “we had no knowledge of the minister’s concerns about infrastructure charges prior to reading his media announcement”.

“We had been endeavouring to meet with Mr Constance but were told he was unavailable this year,” the spokesperson said.

“Infrastructure charges are a fraction of supply chains costs and do not fully recover the land side investments and operating costs borne by the stevedores.

“We look forward to meeting the minister and responding to the NSW Productivity Commission next year.”

Managing director of Qube Holdings, Maurice James, last week argued that higher infrastructure fees were a logical outcome of the zeal by state governments for three major stevedores at east coast ports.

A spokesperson for DPWA declined to comment on the matter.

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