Government to unwrap secret port deal

The NSW Treasurer will today announce that privatising the state’s ports, including Newcastle, has left the people of NSW saddled with a potential liability of between $600 million and $4.3 billion.

Daniel Mookhey says port privatisation contracts, along with boxes of other privatisation deeds, will be tabled in the Parliament today as part of the government’s commitment to provide transparency to the people of NSW.

The former Liberal National government sold off Port Botany and Port Kembla to NSW Ports in 2013. The Port of Newcastle was sold off a year later to a separate buyer.

Under the former government’s ports deal, the state would be liable to compensate NSW Ports if the Port of Newcastle were to develop a competing container terminal.

Documents to be tabled today also outline details of a port commitment deed signed with the Port of Newcastle. This requires the Port of Newcastle to reimburse the state, should the state be required to pay NSW Ports.

IPART is currently working to set what the price of a one-off payment to the state would be, to enable the Port of Newcastle to extinguish the reimbursement provision should it wish to do so.

Image: Port of Newcastle.