Port of Newcastle triples wharfage charges

The New South Wales Minerals Council (NSWMC) reaffirms the need for regulatory reform to protect port users after the Port of Newcastle said it will be increasing port fees  from 1 April 2024.

The increase includes a tripling of the wharfage fee for coal and other non-containerised cargo. 

NSWMC says it is estimated the price increase for coal users will generate about $30 million in additional revenue for the port, with no commensurate improvement in port services. 

The minerals council adds that the port is able to increase these charges ‘significantly’ due to it being a monopoly operation without any regulatory oversight on pricing. 

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is holding similar concerns that former Chairman Rod Sims shared in 2021, stating: “The Port of Newcastle was a stark example where no adequate regulatory framework led to an unconstrained monopoly that could charge inefficiently high prices.”

In 2021, Sims expressed concerns about the unregulated status of the Port of Newcastle. 

“Port of Newcastle pushed its prices up by about 50% as soon as it got control of the port, and there have been continuing disputes over the pricing… we’re concerned that we’ve got an absolute monopoly without any price regulation.”

The Port of Newcastle is Australia’s deepwater global gateway, the ‘largest’ on the nation’s East Coast. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

Images: Port of Newcastle
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.