Following the leasing of the Port of Darwin in 2015, Darwin Port Operations Pty Ltd was appointed the private port operator. The Government introduced an access and pricing regime applicable to private port operators in the Northern Territory. The Utilities Commission (Commission) is the economic regulator of the regime.

The Commission is required to complete a review of the regime and deliver a report to the Minister by 16 November 2018. As this is the first review, it is due three years following the commencement of the regime. Subsequent reviews will be five yearly.  

The purpose of the review is to determine:

(a)    whether there is an ongoing need for regulatory oversight of access to, and pricing of, prescribed services provided by the private port operator;

(b)   whether there is a need to change the form of regulatory oversight of access, and if so, how;

(c)    whether there is a need to change the form of regulatory oversight of prices, and if so, how; and

(d)   whether amendments should be made to the access and pricing regime* and if so, the nature of those amendments.  

The Commission is about to commence the first review of the regime and will release an Issues Paper in January 2018, followed by a Draft Report in June 2018. The Final Report will be released and delivered to the Minister by 16 November 2018.

The Commission will consult with the private port operator during the review and will call for submissions from stakeholders on both the Issues Paper and the Draft Report. If you would like to be involved in this review, please let the Commission know so that you can be added to the communications list. The Commission can be contacted on (08) 8999 5480 or

*Part 11 of the Ports Management Act and Part 3 of the Ports Management Regulations