RFNSW CALLS ON DEPUTY PM TO STOP NEW ROUND OF PORT CHARGES

Media Release: Canberra, Australia. 3 October, 2018.

RFNSW CALLS ON DEPUTY PM TO STOP NEW ROUND OF PORT CHARGES

Peak body Road Freight NSW (RFNSW) has met with the Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Michael McCormack, to voice growing concerns from industry about the devastating effects of DP World Australia's exorbitant port charges.

The Chief Executive of RFNSW, Simon O'Hara, accompanied by RFNSW members and the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), today met with Mr McCormack in Parliament House Canberra, just days after DPWA announced a massive 69% increase in access infrastructure fees at the Port Botany terminal.

From 1 January 2019, DPWA's current surcharge of $37.65 per container will be increased to $63.80 (exclusive of GST) per container - the third excessive price hike in less than two years. VBS fees will rise almost 88% - from $6.89 to $12.95 per slot.

"Our members are angry that DPWA is continuing to use them as cash cows. And without regulation, they're at the mercy of the stevedore," Mr O'Hara said today.

"For the third time, in less than two years, DPWA has hit carriers with another round of excessive charges and with no real explanation and no consultation, industry is asking whether they're just cynically increasing access fees to offset losses in other parts of the business. It's wrong."

"We told Mr McCormack the Government must step-in to protect small businesses from the devastating effects these exorbitant port charges are having on their cash flow. Many of our members are small, family-owned businesses, already struggling with the combined effects of the drought, rising fuel costs and other operational issues. Some are telling us they're on the brink of collapse - they just can't take any more.

"These increased charges cannot be avoided by trucking operators; they have not been subject to detailed regulatory scrutiny and build additional costs into Australia's supply chains. This is why the Federal Government should empower the ACCC to regulate these charges. This should be done through the Heavy Vehicle Road Reform agenda and the proposed Independent Price Regulator for heavy vehicle charges.

"Alternatively, the Government could directly extend the ACCC's jurisdiction to port access charges."

Mr O'Hara said with the ACCC'S Stevedore Monitoring Report due to be released in October, the Deputy Prime Minister must act.

ABOUT ROAD FREIGHT NSW

Road Freight NSW began as ATA NSW in 2007. The organisation has developed to become a respected advocate for trucking operators, as a conduit to government, regulators and enforcement agencies. In 2015, the new name, Road Freight NSW, articulates our independent and authoritative viewpoint thanks to our respected executive leadership and the passion and expertise of members contributing to the Policy Council.

RFNSW media contact: Richard Lenarduzzi 0411 254 390

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Road Freight NSW contact details

56 Fitzroy Street Marrickville NSW 2204

Tel: (02) 9557 1205

info@rfnsw.com.au

www.roadfreightnsw.com.au

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