Port Kembla to be privatised
Port Kembla in New South Wales will be privatised, the State Government has announced.
Treasurer Mike Baird said yesterday the Government would conduct a scoping study to determine how Port Kembla should be leased and whether it should be sold off together with Port Botany.
He said proceeds from the deal would be used for major infrastructure projects.
Mr Russell said the NSW Government might have decided whether Port Kembla or
Maritime Union of Australia national secretary Paddy Crumlin said bundling two ports into one deal threatened to stifle competition.
"Bundling these two ports together and then flogging them off to one operator is a license to gouge the national economy and print money," Mr Crumlin said.
"Port Kembla and Port Botany are critical to the national interest. Unfortunately, that national interest seems to be the last thing on Treasurer Mike Baird's mind."
A senior maritime executive said governments were under pressure to sell major assets.
“We live in a different today to what we did even 20 years ago. Governments have very significant health and social costs that they didn’t have,” he said.
“Governments simply don’t have the money to invest in immature assets without selling mature assets."
Significant tonnages of coal and grain are moved by rail to Port Kembla for export, while construction of the previously abandoned Maldon to Dombarton rail project will always be tied to the future success of the Port.
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