Port Botany: Room for a Third Player?

A third terminal operator in Sydney for Port Botany is one of those issues which generates a fair amount of contention among those in the game. Importers/exporters, ship operators, governments and indeed the wider population would benefit from having a new operator, but the ferocity with which existing players will defend their turf cannot be underestimated. Indeed, having been involved in this saga, I can more than vouch for how brutal and underhanded some existing players can act: when you are defending assets worth 9 figures and beyond, it tends to make you push the boundaries.

Even after the recent fun and games of the Toll / Patrick / Asciano saga, we are heading into even more turmoil. DP World and Patrick are none too keen to have their cosy duopoly called into question and the third operator is one which will focus their energies for the foreseeable future.

Since I am working with a potential bidder in an advisory capacity there is much I cannot say, but I do believe that it is high time we had more quality competition in the sector. Having seen what is being done overseas, I am pretty comfortable in saying that both existing Sydney operators are a way away from world's best practice...and have little incentive to aim for better.

It's time we let a little heat into the kitchen.