ACCC acted on wrong information

Filed under Letters ~ by Editor on  28 Feb 2019
To:
The Hon Gladys Berejiklian MP, Premier
The Hon Dominic Perrottet MP, Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Hon Melinda Pavey MP, Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight

Dear Ms Berejiklian, Mr Perrottet and Ms Pavey,

I refer to NSW government policy announced on July 27 2012 that the state’s next container terminal will be developed at Port Kembla after Port Botany reaches capacity.

On what date was the ACCC informed of government policy that the state’s next container terminal will be developed at either the Port of Newcastle or Port Kembla?

I note that the government refuses to disclose this date. The date a government policy decision is made is not confidential.

On June 7 2013, the ACCC stated [PDF] that “it was unlikely that the NSW government was carrying on a business [for the purposes of the “Commonwealth Competition and Consumer Act 2010”] when it decided not to develop a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle”.

Until November 2013, the government required Newcastle Stevedores Consortium [PDF] to make certain payments to the government in respect of developing a container terminal at the Port of Newcastle. The Term Sheets required Newcastle Stevedores Consortium to reimburse the government for any cost the government incurred to NSW Ports under the Port Commitment Deeds. [PDF]

The Term Sheets and the Port Commitment Deeds reflect government policy that the state’s next container terminal will be developed at either the Port of Newcastle or Port Kembla. They prove the ACCC used wrong information in deciding the Competition Act stopped applying to the government from at least July 27 2012. This explains why both government and ACCC do not disclose the date the ACCC was informed of government policy that the state’s next container terminal will be developed at either the Port of Newcastle or Port Kembla.

The government did not disclose its policy to the public or the Parliament [PDF].

It was revealed by “The Newcastle Herald” on July 28 2016.

Yours faithfully,

Greg Cameron



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