Member for Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall with Moree grain farmer Oscar Pearse in a wheat crop due for harvest in a couple of weeks.
Thursday, 3 November 2022
Marshall will vote for legislation regardless of Government
WITH State Parliament resuming next week for the last two sitting weeks of this term, Member for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall is gearing up to debate and vote in support of legislation which will allow the Port of Newcastle to establish itself as a leading NSW grain export and receivable facility.
Mr Marshall said the successful passage through Parliament of the Port of Newcastle (Extinguishment of Liability) Bill 2022, brought forward by Independent Lake Macquarie MP Greg Piper, was crucial to finally break the impediments placed on the Newcastle Port, when Port Kembla and Port Botany were privatised by the State Government in 2013, requiring the State to compensate those two ports if container traffic at the Port of Newcastle exceeds a cap.
“These Port Commitments Deeds (PCD) created a monopoly for the movement of containers in NSW, for which our region’s farmers and businesses continue to pay the price,” Mr Marshall said.
“It is crucial that we move with the times and instead facilitate millions of dollars of private investment, which is ready to start constructing a new deep port container terminal, which would slash rail freight costs and grow profits for producers in northern NSW.
“Our grain growers have a gateway to world markets on their doorstep, now redundant rules are keeping the door to Port of Newcastle locked and bolted.”
Mr Marshall said the Productivity Commission recently released a report blaming the government’s embargo on container shipments through Newcastle for ‘raising import and export costs across the container logistics chain’.
“They have led to congestion at Port Botany and a lack of competition – in fact, no competition – as well as promoting uncontrolled cost increases to move containers in and out of Port Botany, which, by the way, has been named by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as one of the least efficient ports in the world,” he said.
“The fact is these deeds are no longer relevant and the time has come to open up our State to investment and export opportunities backing in our hundreds of millions of dollars of investment into the regions.
“Establishing a container terminal at Port of Newcastle has the potential of cutting the cost of grain rail freight by $16 to $22 per tonne – putting huge dollars back in the pockets of growers and the local economy.