We'll act on Port Botany container delays: ports boss

Port regulators vow to act on stevedore poor performance, hit out at new storage fees

October 23, 2009

Port regulators have vowed to act on stevedore operators at Port Botany after weeks of poor performance.

Sydney Port Corporation (SPC) Chief Executive Grant Gilfillan says he will seek a meeting with New South Wales Ports Minister Joe Tripodi unless stevedores clean up their act.

Gilfillan says the performance of both the DP World and Patrick terminals has been poor and have seen trucks stranded waiting up to four hours on each trip.

And he's branded a plan to change operating procedures, which will see storage fees spike by treating Sunday as a normal operating day, as unacceptable.

"Changes by stevedores to treat Sunday as a normal working day for charging storage came as a surprise given poor stevedoring performance and lack of consultation," Gilfillan says.

"To unilaterally decide they are going to change their pricing regime and make Sunday a normal working day without discussing with anyone is completely against the spirit of the Port Botany reform program."

Gilfillan’s comment have been welcomed by the NSW branch Australian Trucking Association (ATA), which calls the fee hike outrageous.

"ATA NSW has been working closely with Sydney Ports on their landslide reform process, so the decision by the stevedores was very disappointing," ATA-NSW Chairman Mike Moylan says.

"We welcome the decision to seek advice from the Minister, and we hope that he will ensure that the changes announced by the stevedores are reversed, so we can move forward in implementing the reforms the port desperately needs."

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