The Herald, Australia
Port coal operations disquiet
BY IAN KIRKWOOD AND JULIEANNE STRACHAN
THE State Government is seeking new powers over Newcastle’s largely private-sector coal loading operations, in a move that has caused disquiet among coal companies.
The powers are contained in draft legislation introduced by Ports Minister Joe Tripodi, who is scheduled to visit Newcastle this morning for a trade announcement.
Coal company executives met in Sydney yesterday to discuss operating conditions in the Port of Newcastle, and the intended new laws were apparently part of the closed-door discussions.
Mr Tripodi spoke in State Parliament late last month on the Ports and Maritime Administration Amendment (Port Competition and Co-ordination) bill, saying that one of its main objects was to improve productivity and efficiency in ports and port-related supply chains.
Coal companies speaking anonymously to The Herald said they were concerned about the bill, because it gave the Government the right to set mandatory performance targets for supply chains and to order private companies to provide information about their performance, efficiency and capital investment.
The provisions are contained in a draft of the bill supplied to The Herald.
Failing to comply with the mandatory standards or to provide the relevant reports would be offences punishable by financial penalty.