As you may have heard in the news, I've introduced a new Bill in the Parliament today which is aimed at allowing the Port of Newcastle to diversify into a container terminal by removing the shackles placed on it by the State Government when it privatised the ports in 2013-14.
I've done this because I think it's incredibly important to the future of our region, and in the creation of jobs, and because I'm not going to sit around and watch our region penalised so that Sydney can have a monopoly on container trade for the next 43 years.
For those who are not familiar with the privatisation deals done a decade ago, Port Botany and Port Kembla (both owned by a consortium known as NSW Ports) were allowed to monopolise container trade because the sale deed stipulated that Newcastle had to pay a penalty of about $100 on every single container which came in and out of the port (over a certain cap).
It's a ridiculous deal and one which the ACCC has described as "inherently anti-competitive".
My bill simply removes that financial penalty and will allow the Port of Newcastle to proceed with certainty on its multi-billion dollar diversification plans in Newcastle.
You can read my introductory speech HERE