We are required by the Port Management Act 1995 (Vic) to conduct an inquiry into the Port of Melbourne’s compliance with the 2016 pricing order every five years. Our first inquiry covered the review period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2021.

We conducted an inquiry into:

  • whether the Port of Melbourne has complied with the pricing order during the period 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2021
  • if any non-compliance was, in our view, non-compliance in a significant and sustained manner.

We invited your views on the Port of Melbourne’s compliance with the pricing over the past five years over 12 weeks from 10 June to 3 September 2021.

Submissions to this project are now closed. You can read submissions made on the commission's website.

The Port of Melbourne services international and domestic shipping lines carrying cargo in containers and general cargo to and from Melbourne through the Port Phillip Bay.

The Port Management Act 1995 specifies the prescribed services the port provides and that we regulate. A pricing order sets out the requirements for the port when setting prices for prescribed services, such as:

  • how to calculate prices
  • the extent prices can change between years
  • when the port needs to apply to us for variations.

The port charges users in line with the pricing order. This is so the port has a reasonable opportunity to recover efficient costs for providing prescribed services such as:

  • wharfage
  • channel use
  • berth or area hire
  • other ancillary services.

Our engagement process

We ran a public engagement process to seek the views of interested stakeholders. Engaging during the coronavirus pandemic meant adapting our approach to ensure stakeholders could still provide feedback. To achieve this, we:

  • Promoted discussion in our virtual public forum event on 15 July 2021 for interested parties on our inquiry process. The slides presented at this forum can be found on our website.
  • Invited written submissions to our inquiry. Our submission period ran over 12 weeks from 10 June to 3 September 2021 via Engage Victoria. We invited your views on the Port of Melbourne’s compliance with the pricing over the past five years.
  • Held one-on-one stakeholder engagement sessions from 5 July to 5 August 2021. These sessions allowed interested stakeholders to outline their views on the issues they consider relevant for the five-yearly review and to ask us questions on our process and approach to the review.

Next steps

We will provide our inquiry a confidential final report to the Assistant Treasurer by 31 December 2021 (consistent with section 45(2)) of the Essential Services Commission Act.

Section 45 also provides the process for the public release of the report without the confidential information.

We will outline key findings on our website when the report is made public

If you have any queries, please email transport@esc.vic.gov.au, or call (03) 9032 1300 or 1300 664 969.

About us

The Essential Services Commission is an independent regulator that promotes the long term interests of Victorian consumers with respect to the price, quality and reliability of essential services. We regulate Victoria’s energy, water and transport sectors, and administer the local government Fair Go Rates system.