The object of the regime is to promote the economically efficient operation of, use of, and investment in, major ports facilities in the Territory by which services are provided, so as to promote effective competition in upstream and downstream markets.
The regime appoints the Commission as the economic regulator for prescribed services provided by a private port operator at a designated port.
Prescribed services are:
- providing, or allowing for, access for vessels to the designated port
- providing facilities for loading or unloading vessels at the designated port
- providing berths for vessels at the designated port
- providing, or facilitating the provision of, pilotage services in a pilotage area within the designated port
- allowing entry of persons and vehicles to any land on which port facilities of the designated port are located.
Darwin Port Operations Pty Ltd (DPO) was declared the operator of the Port of Darwin on 1 July 2015. On 16 November 2015, ownership of DPO was acquired by Landbridge Port Operations Pty Ltd as part of the 99-year lease of the Port of Darwin. The change of status of DPO to a private port operator activated the regime, including the Commission’s role as economic regulator.
At present, the Port of Darwin is the only designated port for the purpose of the regime.