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AN INDUSTRY body has called for regulatory intervention following the latest round of infrastructure fees implemented by stevedore DPWA.

Freight and Trade Alliance / Australian Peak Shippers secretariat Travis Brooks-Garrett said “zero regulation” of container terminal operator pricing could not be allowed “when more than 90% of Australia’s trade by volume is carried via sea”.

“Particularly in a post-port privatisation environment, where regulation was provided for port charges but not terminal operator pricing,” Mr Brooks-Garrett said.

“We would now ask the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, Transport for NSW, the newly established Freight Victoria, the National Freight Strategy team, and our politicians, to actively rein in these practices while we still have a chance.”

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Mr Brooks-Garrett also called for Patricks, Victoria International Container Terminal and other stevedores to “show restraint” from matching these increases.

“While it may be true that new stevedore cost recovery models are needed, a unilateral price increase, with no negotiation, at a time when our farmers and rural shippers are struggling, should not be tolerated,” he said.

“It’s important to note that many of the major shipping lines are still charging shippers and forwarders Terminal Handling Charges at the same levels as 2016.”

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