Price gouging claims under review at Pilbara ports

A new review will be undertaken by the WA Department of Finance into Pilbara port charges for shipping at the Utah Point Bulk Export Facility.

Finance minister Bill Marmion made the announcement this week, which was applauded by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies.

AMEC chief executive Simon Bennison said the issue of price gouging on port charges had been raised with the WA government, including Department of Finance and the Treasury, to tackle concerns that charges were excessive and inequitable between users.

“During those discussions, AMEC requested the Government undertake a review to stimulate a reduction in port charges, including the port improvement fee,” he said.

“This is a good starting point however the Pilbara Port Authority is not an isolated issue. AMEC encourages the Minister to broaden the review to other ports in Western Australia where price gouging is an issue.

Bennison said the Pilbara Ports Authority had pledged to hold prices at current levels until at least 1 January 2016, which was a positive move but not enough to tackle the problem.

“The review of the Pilbara Port Authority’s charges at Utah Point must now be extended to address excessive and inequitable charges across other ports,” Bennison said.

Pilbara Ports Authority were approached for comment.

Image: Reuters

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