Importers And Exporters Are Suffering Price Hikes Enforced By New Port Owners, Says Asciano Boss

Getty/ Corey Davis

John Mullen, the head of transport group Asciano, has called on the government to consider the impact on efficiency and productivity of importers and exporters when privatising shipping ports.

Following the sale of a 99-year lease for the Port of Newcastle this week, Mullen has told The Financial Review new port owners become so focused on making a good return that exporters and importers get slammed with increased prices.

Mullen said the government must find a balance when selling sovereign assets to ensure the supply chain operates fairly.

“Obviously a new owner’s not going to pay that sort of money and not want to maximise their return. But you know, we sort of joke a little bit that they claim the real estate’s worth the same as central CBD and we say it’s unused swamp if we weren’t there, and so somewhere in the middle is a fair market value,” he said today on Financial Review Sunday.

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