Tripodi threatens legislation to clean up Port Botany

NSW threatens action if Port Botany stevedores don't improve efficiency, a move the trucking industry says is overdue

October 28, 2009

New South Wales Minister for Ports Joe Tripodi says he will not rule out using legislation changes to increase efficiency at Port Botany in a move welcomed by the NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA NSW).

In a statement released yesterday Tripodi says the smooth running of the Port Botany facility is crucial to the expansion of the NSW economy and the recent poor performances of DP World and Patrick stevedores are unacceptable.

"The Government’s reforms for Port Botany are crucial to ensure NSW exporters are competitive in a global market and to keep down the cost of imports," Tripodi says.

"We are committed to implementing reforms at Port Botany to improve services to truckers and train operators.

"The Government’s response to IPART makes it clear the Government may intervene to implement the reforms if a voluntary process is not able to improve performance.

"We are closely monitoring progress in the implementation of these reforms and will not rule out using regulation to achieve results for industry."

ATA NSW Manager Jill Lewis says Tripodi’s comments come as great relief to the trucking industry in the state, which has been hit hard by radical changes recently introduced by the port’s stevedores.

"In the past few weeks trucking operators have been forced to queue for up to five hours to pick up containers," Lewis says.

"Then last week, the stevedores announced they would change their charging structure to make Sunday a normal working day. That would increase the cost of storage at the Ports for trucking operators.

"It’s obvious something is not working at Port Botany. The trucking industry is very pleased the Minister is keeping a close eye on operations and will act if he feels legislation is needed to drive the reform process."

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