IPART to determine next phase of container port plan
1st March 2023
Independent Member for Lake Macquarie Greg Piper has welcomed today’s announcement that the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) will take charge of the next phase of plans to diversify the Port of Newcastle.
Mr Piper’s Port of Newcastle Bill, passed by the NSW Parliament in November, required the State Government to appoint an independent assessor to determine the additional amount Port of Newcastle must pay to free itself from the restrictions imposed by the original deed of agreement.
“The independent pricing watchdog is a good choice and is well equipped to determine what the Port of Newcastle would have paid for an unrestricted lease on the port,” Mr Piper said.
“My Bill is now doing what it was intended to do for the Hunter Region – remove the Sydney monopoly on containers and provide a fair and equitable pathway for Port of Newcastle to compete on a level playing field.
“The Port of Newcastle has made its intentions very clear and is ready to invest more than $1.4 billion in diversifying the port and creating thousands of new jobs. I continue to meet with the port executive team and I know they’re keen to get things moving.
“IPART now has six months to work through the numbers and I’m confident they’ll be able to do that independently and unhindered.
“I must acknowledge the work done by the State Government and Treasurer Matt Kean in moving quickly on this issue.
“My Bill is now law, the regulations are finalised, an assessor has been appointed and, all going well, the Port of Newcastle will be free to pursue its plans later this year. I believe those plans will not just ensure the future of the port, but the future of our regional economy for many decades to come.”