The Australian Labor party has threatened to bypass the coalition government’s plans to block the sale of the Port of Melbourne, a port with a total estimated cost of more than US$5.4 billion, a figure which could leave a massive gap in Parliament’s budget, according to The Age.
It was announced recently that Australia’s Freemantle, the largest general cargo port in Australia, was sold for around US$5 billion in order to pay off some of the country’s existing debts.
Tim Pallas, Australian Treasurer, said: “Our preference is to get this done in a co-operative way with the Parliament. But we are not in the business of allowing the opposition to create uncertainty and conjecture about whether or not promises will be honoured.”
Elsewhere across the globe, a troubled Greece has been involved with the potential sale of the Port of Piraeus as a concession to its international lenders.
While India’s port staff have shown ambivalence to a number of privatisation plans around the country, with management welcoming the decision, and port staff and trade unions expressing doubts, saying that this could potentially lead to a loss of jobs.
At the recent 7th UK Annual UK Ports Conference, held in London, it was stated that it would be unlikely for many commercially-led ports to receive subsidies from governments.
The European Commission (EC) has argued that further discussion is required to establish how much ports should receive and under what conditions.