Sims slams ALC over Port re­sponse

Sims lashes ALC for its ‘neg­a­tive’ re­ac­tion to Port of New­cas­tle de­ci­sion

Australian Transport News - - Contents - AUS­TRALIAN COM­PE­TI­TION AND CON­SUMER COM­MIS­SION ( ACCC)

Sims slams ALC over Port re­sponse

chair­man Rod Sims has lashed the Aus­tralian Lo­gis­tics Coun­cil ( ALC) for its “neg­a­tive” re­ac­tion to Fed­eral Court Port of New­cas­tle de­ci­sion.

Not­ing the ALC had not “wel­comed” the de­ci­sion, Sims sees noth­ing in its re­sponse that re­flects its pos­i­tive na­ture.

In com­ments that high­light the breadth of the ALC’s mem­ber­ship base, which en­com­passes port com­pa­nies, in­clud­ing the Port of New­cas­tle, as well as those that deal with them, Sims says he is “stunned” at the ALC re­sponse.

“That’s ex­tra­or­di­nary – it’s a very neg­a­tive re­sponse and I can’t un­der­stand why it would be,” Sims tells ATN.

“This is de­signed to help. This is go­ing to mean: if you’re a lo­gis­tics com­pany, you’re go­ing to have more bar­gain­ing power when you deal with mo­nop­o­lies.

“Why they would re­act neg­a­tively I have no idea. If they are in­ter­ested in lo­gis­tics users, if they are in­ter­ested in the providers – if they rep­re­sent the monopoly com­pa­nies, that’s fi ne, I un­der­stand their po­si­tion.

“If they are in­ter­ested in cheaper lo­gis­tics this is un­am­bigu­ously good news.”

Sims’ com­ments fol­low those from ALC manag­ing direc­tor Michael Kil­gar­iff, who em­pha­sised the com­plex­i­ties and po­ten­tial diffi cul­ties more ACCC in­volve­ment in freight lo­gis­tics might en­tail.

For his part, Kil­gar­iff sticks by his ini­tial re­sponse.

“ALC’s po­si­tion is clear and un­con­tro­ver­sial. If the ACCC is go­ing to be­come more in­volved in reg­u­lat­ing lo­gis­tics in­fra­struc­ture, it needs to en­sure it is ap­pro­pri­ately re­sourced with per­son­nel who have ex­pe­ri­ence deal­ing with the unique and com­plex is­sues in­volved in this in­dus­try,” he tells ATN.

“Given the like­li­hood of in­creas­ing ACCC in­volve­ment in trans­port and lo­gis­tics, it may be pru­dent for the ACCC to ap­point a spe­cial­ist Com­mis­sioner to deal with trans­port and lo­gis­tics is­sues – sim­i­lar to the role Com­mis­sioner Mick Keogh has in re­la­tion to agri­cul­ture – and also to es­tab­lish a spe­cial­ist unit to iden­tify reg­u­la­tory is­sues, and work with the trans­port and lo­gis­tics in­dus­try to de­velop reg­u­la­tory so­lu­tions.”

“If you’re a lo­gis­tics com­pany, you’re go­ing to have more bar­gain­ing power when you deal with mo­nop­o­lies”

Rod Sims

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