ACCC grants coal miners collective negotiation rights
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted a number of coal miners interim authorisation to collectively negotiate with Dudgeon Point Project Management Pty Ltd (DPPM) in Queensland for the export of coal through the Port of Hay Point.
Carabella Resources Ltd, Macarthur Coal Ltd, Middlemount Coal Pty Ltd, New Hope Corp. Ltd and Peabody Energy Australia Pty Ltd are coal miners in the Bowen Basin which will be authorised to collectively bargain in relation to access to the DPPM terminal at Dudgeon Point.
Interim authorisation allows the applicants to immediately commence collective negotiations with DPPM while the ACCC assesses the substantive application. However, the interim authorisation does not allow the applicants to enter into contracts with DPPM.
Authorisation provides immunity from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010. Broadly, the ACCC may grant an authorisation when it is satisfied that the public benefit from the conduct outweighs any public detriment.