View information on how we monitor and investigate the Port of Melbourne's compliance with regulations
Our role in administering the Port of Melbourne regulatory regime
In November 2016, we became responsible for ensuring the Port of Melbourne complies with a pricing order. The port's prescribed services are regulated by this pricing order.
Port of Melbourne prescribed services include:
- services for berthing vessels (such as berths, buoys and dolphins)
- shipping channels in Port of Melbourne waters
- short-term storage
- access to infrastructure (such as wharves, roads and rail infrastructure).
We promote the long-term interests of Victorian consumers by conducting compliance reporting activities that assess how well the port has complied with its pricing order.
Leasing the Port of Melbourne
The Port of Melbourne is Australia’s largest container, automotive and general cargo port servicing international and domestic shipping lines carrying cargo to and from Melbourne through Port Philip Bay. 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.
Cargo is imported or exported via a range of port users in the supply chain, such as the shipping lines, stevedores, transport providers, freight forwarders and cargo owners.
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.
We have several regulatory roles in relation to the Port of Melbourne
- conducting five-yearly reviews of the Port of Melbourne’s compliance with a legislated pricing order
- conducting inquiries into the Port of Melbourne’s process for setting tenant rent
- investigating relevant complaints submitted by port users
- certifying port capacity expansion proposals
- conducting competitive neutrality inquiries into the prices set by a second international container port in Victoria (if one was to be built).
Read our overview paper for more detailed information on our responsibilities in relation to the Port of Melbourne.
We administer the port's regulatory regime through several key pieces of legislation
The two main Acts we use in this area are the Port Management Act 1995 and the Delivering Victorian Infrastructure (Port of Melbourne Lease Transaction) Act 2016.
The relevant ministers for our Port of Melbourne regulatory regime are the Assistant Treasurer and the Minister for Ports.
Read more about our Port of Melbourne regulatory resources.
We are responsible for administering a number of new economic regulatory functions applying to the leased Port of Melbourne. This information paper describes the relevant aspects of the lease of the Port of Melbourne and our roles in the new regulatory regime.