Our regulatory roles
In November 2016, we became responsible for ensuring the new Port of Melbourne leaseholder complies with the port’s legislated pricing order. On 21 March 2017, we published an Overview of the Port of Melbourne and the Essential Services Commission’s Regulatory Roles.
We have six new economic regulatory roles established by legislation:
- conducting five-yearly reviews of the Port of Melbourne’s compliance with a pricing order
- conducting regular inquiries into the Port of Melbourne’s process for setting tenant rent
- investigating complaints submitted by port users in relation to the Port of Melbourne’s compliance with a pricing order
- the power to develop and monitor standards of service and supply
- certifying port capacity expansion proposals as the least-cost means of expanding Victorian port capacity
- conducting inquiries into whether a second international container port is providing services below a competitively neutral price.
- May 2017: We published our Regulatory Approach to the Pricing Order: Consultation Paper.
- End of May 2017: Port of Melbourne submitted a 2017–18 tariff compliance statement.
- July 2017: Submissions closed on the consultation paper.
- November 2017: We released our commentary on the port’s 2017–18 tariff compliance statement. The commentary notes our key observations regarding the tariff compliance statement.
- December 2017: We publish a statement of regulatory approach.
Download a PDF summary of the Port of Melbourne legislative framework.
Leasing the Port of Melbourne
The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest container, automotive and general cargo port. It handles around 36 per cent of national container trade and is one of the top 60 container ports in the world (based on 2015 figures). It is visited by over 3,000 ships each year and handles over 2.6 million containers annually.
In 2016, the Victorian Parliament passed legislation that allowed the leasing of the Port of Melbourne’s commercial operations to a private operator. The government awarded the fifty-year lease to the Lonsdale Consortium (comprising Future Fund, Queensland Investment Corporation, Global Infrastructure Partners and OMERS (a Canadian pension fund).
The new leaseholder has chosen to retain the Port of Melbourne name and took over operations at the port on 1 November 2016. The lease includes:
- management of approximately 500 hectares of land (mainly used for commercial purposes)
- operation of wharves and berths (excluding Station Pier and West Finger Pier)
- maintenance and operation of shipping channels.