Coal producers handed interim authorisation for collective negotiations


RG Tanna Coal Export Terminal Producers have been given a green light to immediately commence collective negotiations with the Gladstone Ports Corporation (GPC) after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) granted the applicants an interim authorization.

Image credit: freedigitalphotos By: dan
Image credit: freedigitalphotos By: dan

According to the media release by the ACCC, the applicants demanded to negotiate collectively with GPC with regards to the terms and conditions of new coal handling and port services agreements at Gladstone Port in Queensland.

“The applicants requested interim authorisation on the basis that GPC has commenced the negotiation process for the new coal handling and port services agreements,” ACCC Commissioner Dr Jill Walker said.

“In granting interim authorisation, the ACCC considers that there is benefit in allowing the parties to begin to jointly negotiate to ensure there are no unnecessary delays in putting in place appropriate arrangements in respect of the terminals and the channel infrastructure, particularly given that new users of the port would like to commence shipping soon.”

The RG Tanna Coal Export Terminal Producers are Anglo American Australia Limited, BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance, Cockatoo Coal Limited, Glencore Coal Investments Australia Pty Limited, Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty Ltd, Jellinbah Resources Pty Ltd, Rio Tinto Coal Australia Pty Ltd, Sojitz Coal Mining Pty Ltd, Wesfarmers Resources Ltd and Yancoal Australia Ltd.

The interim authorisation is effective immediately and lasts until the date that the ACCC’s final determination comes into effect or is revoked, but does not extend to the making of, or giving effect to, any agreements.

The authorisation provides statutory protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010.

The interim authorisation allows the parties to engage in the conduct prior to the ACCC considering the substantive merits of the application.