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Labor must act now to fix port pricing mess

Victorians are set to pay more for their everyday purchases due to Labor’s failure to regulate the cost of goods passing through the Port of Melbourne.

A report by the Essential Service Commission is damning of the Andrews Labor Government’s failure to properly regulate port pricing.

The report into port rents and associated payments found:

“Many of the Port of Melbourne’s behaviours contributed to a lack of transparency and information asymmetry for tenants, hampering their ability to negotiate with the Port of Melbourne on an equal basis”.

The report also found rent prices at the port were the highest in Australia and in some instances rental agreements had doubled since privatisation. 

It found these doubling of costs were:

“likely to reflect the impacts of the Port of Melbourne exercising its monopoly power”.

This has been allowed to happen because the Andrews Labor Government failed to put into place proper regulation of cost increases when it privatised the port.

The report shows that if the status quo continues these rental increases will severely impact on Victorian consumers, driving up the price of everyday items, at a time when Victorians can least afford it.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Ports and Freight, Roma Britnell:

“Victorian consumers will continue to pay for their everyday purchases because Daniel Andrews has failed to reign in out of control port costs.

“Daniel Andrews must immediately take action to drive down port costs that are hurting the back pockets of Victorians.

“The Liberal Nationals have been calling for action on port pricing for years – this report backs these calls and Daniel Andrews must now act.

“This is a mess that Daniel Andrews has created but in the end, as always, it will be Victorian consumers who pay the price for Labor’s stuff-ups.”

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