Agriculture | March 01, 2019

Port of Melbourne 2000 per cent price hike hits local farmers

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy is alarmed at the Ports Minister Melissa Horne’s failure to explain why access fees at the Port of Melbourne have increased 2000 per cent over the past two years.

Following the lease of the Port of Melbourne in March 2016, the Andrews Labor Government promised to regulate trade charges for cargo and shipping movements at the port.

But major stevedoring companies that operate at the port have increased their infrastructure access fee from $3.60 to $80.00 per container in just two years.

These massive cost increases will be passed on to local producers, exporters, retailers and consumers right across Victoria. 

“Communities like Lowan are built around the agricultural sector and support thousands of jobs directly and indirectly across Victoria,” Ms Kealy said.

“Victorian farmers are already under pressure from drought, rising energy and water prices, and a swag of taxes from the Andrews Labor Government.

“Despite the Andrews Labor Government promising an “expedited enquiry” into these exorbitant fee increases, the Ports Minister still has no answers for producers suffering from these soaring costs about who will conduct the enquiry, or when it will begin.

“The Port of Melbourne is currently Australia’s largest container port however these massive cost increases could result in local jobs being lost to ports in Sydney and Brisbane.

“I am calling on the Andrews Labor Government to do what it said it would do and keep these skyrocketing port costs in check.”

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