LABOR MP Tim Crakanthorp has used New South Wales Parliament to pose a series of questions to the state government about a court case relating to a proposed container terminal in the Hunter Valley.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has launched legal action against NSW Ports for allegedly “making agreements with the State of New South Wales that the ACCC alleges had an anti-competitive purpose and effect”.

In parliament, Mr Crakanthorp asked the Minister for Transport and Roads:

  • Is it true that the Government has been added as a respondent in the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) court case against NSW Ports?
  • Is it true that the ACCC has alleged the cap placed on the Port of Newcastle is anti-competitive and illegal?
  • Will the Minister support the Deputy Premier’s call for the Government to remove the anti-competitive cap placed on container movements at the Port of Newcastle?
  • Why does the Port of Newcastle have to pay a fine to the Government if it handles more than 30,000 containers?

The questions were posed late last week with formal answers due on 26 September 2019.

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Meanwhile the Newcastle Herald has reported that shipping giant Maersk is actively involved in a second and separate Federal Court case being brought against NSW Ports, a case brought by an entity called Mayfield Development Corporation, which negotiated with Newcastle Port Corporation to build a container terminal on the former BHP steelworks site.

That case was filed back in late May but has been put on hold until the ACCC case is finalised.

DCN has sought comment from Maersk.

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