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Glencore and Port of Newcastle in shipping dispute

Staff Writer |
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been notified of an access dispute between Glencore Coal Assets Australia and Port of Newcastle Operations in relation to the shipping channel service at the port.

Glencore notified the ACCC of the access dispute on November 4, 2016 and has requested that the ACCC arbitrate.

The dispute relates to the level of access charges, and access terms, set by PNO for users of the shipping channel service at the port, which was declared under Part IIIA of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (CCA) by the Australian Competition Tribunal in June 2016.

The declared shipping channel service is: "The provision of the right of access and use of the shipping channel (including berths next to walls as part of the channel) at the Port, by virtue of which vessels may enter the Port precinct and load and unload at relevant terminals located within the Port precinct and then depart the Port precinct."

“An ACCC arbitration would seek to identify a solution that balances the interests of both parties and promotes the economically efficient use and operation of these services,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said.

“The ACCC’s role to arbitrate under Part IIIA only applies to declared services. The declaration of the shipping channel service is currently the subject of an application for judicial review by the Full Federal Court. If that challenge is successful, the arbitration process will stop,” Mr Sims said.

The ACCC must make a final determination within 180 days from the day a dispute notification is received. Except where otherwise agreed by the parties to a dispute, arbitration hearings are to be conducted in private.

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