AusRAIL, Market Sectors

Rowsthorn to call in ACCC over Capital Stevedoring- POAGS link

<p>Toll Holdings spin-off Asciano may alert the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to the proposed link between Tasmanian Ports Corporation’s (Tasports) Capital Stevedoring arm and P&#38O Automotive and General Stevedoring (POAGS).</p> <p>Prospective Asciano chief executive Mark Rowsthorn told <em>Lloyd’s List DCN</em> : &#8220It’s an interesting turn of events and I’m sure the ACCC would be interested in that.</p> <p>&#8220You’ve got the port owner doing a deal with a stevedoring operation on an exclusive basis. </p> <p>&#8220I would have thought that it’s anti-competitive.</p> <p>&#8220We’ll be talking to the ACCC about it.&#8221</p> <p>Tasports executive manager &#8211 marketing Charles Scarafiotti responded later saying he failed to see on what basis the ACCC would become involved.</p> <p>&#8220As a port company, we wouldn’t be locking other companies out,&#8221 Mr Scarafiotti said. &#8220I can’t see how that would be anti-competitive.</p> <p>&#8220As a port company, we’ve been running a stevedoring business for some time and we’ve been able to separate it and not give it exclusive or preferred rights.</p> <p>&#8221It’s early days as far as we’re concerned and we are yet to detail the terms of our joint venture.&#8221</p> <p>In Geelong, where Asciano hopes to build an Australian automotive trades gateway, talks with developer Frank Costa &#8211 who owns land needed for the gateway and who wants to build a homemaker centre on it &#8211 had not been held recently.</p> <p>&#8220We are very keen to retain a port precinct and a buffer around our port activities,&#8221 Mr Rowsthorn said.</p> <p>Mr Costa believes a compromise is possible.</p> <p>&#8220I’ve tried as much as I possibly can to keep an open mind and I can understand where [Toll&#93 is coming from on the port’s progress and wanting to see adjacent land embargoed,” Mr Costa told the <em>Geelong Advertiser</em> this month.</p> <p>&#8220(But) I think their proposal focuses on the wrong side of the railway line.&#8221</p> <p>Mr Rowsthorn sent another salvo across the bows of QR.</p> <p>&#8220With all the trouble that QR are having with their coal customers in providing the right level of capacity and rolling stock &#8211 well, obviously, we’re looking at that, were talking to the right parties to take a piece of that,&#8221 Mr Rowsthorn said.</p> <p>He revealed that Asciano’s Middle East venture was in a partnership bidding for a US$6bn-US$8bn, 2,400 km freight rail link between Damman and Jeddah.</p> <br />