ACCC issues draft decision on GrainCorp’s wheat port access undertaking

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has issued a draft decision proposing to consent to GrainCorp Operations Limited’s (GrainCorp) application to extend and vary its 2011 Port Terminal Services Access Undertaking.

GrainCorp’s 2011 Undertaking governs third-party access to port terminal services at GrainCorp’s East Coast Australian bulk grain ports. The undertaking is currently set to expire on 30 September 2014 with a mandatory code of conduct anticipated to commence on 1 October 2014.

GrainCorp has applied to extend the operation of the 2011 Undertaking for a year in the event that the code does not commence as expected. Under GrainCorp’s application, the undertaking remains virtually unchanged except for the inclusion of an early expiry clause to eliminate the possibility of duplicate regulation.

“The ACCC considers that the combination of a 12 month extension and an early expiry clause is a practical and appropriate response that provides certainty to industry about GrainCorp’s bulk grain port arrangements,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

The ACCC’s draft decision is that GrainCorp’s proposed extension and variation of its 2011 Undertaking is appropriate. The ACCC’s draft consent is subject to GrainCorp incorporating reporting provisions on key service performance indicators to cover the period of the extension of the undertaking.

The ACCC is seeking any views from interested parties on its draft decision by 5 September 2014. Submissions received in response to the draft decision will be considered by the ACCC prior to making its final decision.


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