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THE tender for new leases to operate container terminals at the Port of Fremantle has been narrowed to the two current operators, DP World Australia and Patrick, with the process now moving on to the negotiation stage.

The existing leases, which were awarded in 1997, are set to expire in June this year.

The intent of the current process is to grant new seven-year leases with options for extensions for two further periods up to a total of 21 years at the discretion of Fremantle Ports, and dependent upon state government decisions arising from the Westport: Port and Environs Strategy.

Leases would commence on July 1, 2019 and end on June 30, 2026 (or on later dates if options were granted).

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The process to secure new leases gives confidence to the industry and the community that Western Australia’s expected trade growth over the next decade can be accommodated.

Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan said securing suitable container terminal leases is important to the economy of Western Australia.

“Negotiations will focus on the ability to address investment and operations plans to cater for expected trade growth in the years ahead, but also the efficiency of land transport movements of containers to and from the port,” she said.

“As part of this process Fremantle Ports will seek to further improve the efficiency of land transport movements of containers to and from the port, for the benefit of the community and industry.

“The container trade is of enormous importance to Western Australia and this tender process is being conducted in the context of deliberations by the Westport Taskforce, which is examining port and landside planning and development requirements to serve the State in the decades to come.”

The two stevedores recently raised their infrastructure surcharges at their terminals around the country, with DPWA’s surcharge taking effect on 1 January and Patrick’s due to kick in on 4 March.

However, neither stevedore announced increases at their Fremantle terminals this year, with DPWA’s surcharge remaining $8.22 per container and Patrick’s remaining $7.50.

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