News
18.10.12

PORT OF MELBOURNE FINANCIAL REPORT

The Port of Melbourne Corporation's 2011-12 Annual Report, reported a $59.2 million underlying profit increasing from an equivalent $39.3 million the previous year. The port achieved a record 87 million revenue tonnes (35.9 million mass tonnes), an increase of 9.1% over the previous financial year. Overseas imports increased 10.8% to 37.3 million revenue tonnes while overseas exports increased 10.7% to 26 million revenue tonnes. Coastal exports increased 5.1% to 11.9 million revenue tonnes and coastal imports increased 4.8% to 11.8 million revenue tonnes. The breakdown of total trade consisted of:

Cargo type

Throughput 2011-12

% change on 2010-11

Total trade

87 million revenue tonnes

+ 9.1%

Containers

2.58 million TEU

+ 7.8%

New motor vehicles

4.7 million revenue tonnes

+ 0.1%

Liquid bulk

6.4 million revenue tonnes

+ 21.4%

Dry bulk

4.2 million revenue tonnes

+ 20.9%

Breakbulk

4.9 million revenue tonnes

+ 8.0%

In 2011-12, 3,314 commercial vessels visited the Port of Melbourne, since 2004-05, the average ship size has increased 32% to 102 million gross tonne. Ship visits and tonnage is still less than what was achieved in 2007/2008.

Minister for Ports Denis Napthine said "The underlying profit result of $59.2 million is a great outcome" and "this result will serve as a solid foundation for the Port as we embark on an exciting period of growth with the $1.6 billion Port Capacity Project which will see increased container capacity at the existing Swanson Dock terminals, the construction of new state-of-the-art container and automotive terminals at Webb Dock, and a new onsite Pre-Delivery Inspection Hub for all export and import motor vehicles.

The Executive Remuneration table was very interesting reading, in 2011/12, the port lost one executive who had been previously paid a salary of $630,000 to $639,999 and another executive had earned $390,000 to $399,999 in 2010/11 had their salary reduced to only $350,000 to $359,999. But all other executives had achieved a pay increase and some were quite significant.

INCOME INEQUALITY

There is definitely something wrong with wage relativity in this country [and possibly the world, especially Kenya see below], in December 2011 it was reported that the Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu's salary would rise from $317,730 to about $350,000.

The International Monetary Fund has now warned that "inequality may be harmful to your [a country's] growth". Over the last 30 years there has been a huge increase in income inequality in the United States and to a lesser extent in Australia. The rich have gotten much richer, and the poor have just got poorer.

Berg and Ostry report on IMF Direct, that "some dismiss inequality and focus instead on overall growth-arguing, in effect, that a rising tide lifts all boats. But assume we have a thousand boats representing all the households in the United States, with boat length proportional to family income. In the late 1970s, the average boat was a 12 foot canoe and the biggest yacht was 250 feet long. Thirty years later, the average boat is a slightly roomier 15 footer, while the biggest yacht, at over 1100 feet, would dwarf the Titanic! When a handful of yachts become ocean liners while the rest remain lowly canoes, something is seriously amiss". 

Kenya, the global financial capital of the world, I think not, is not concerned about income inequality, in July 2010, after resisting calls to pay income tax for years, MPs finally agreed to pay the tax, but only after giving themselves a sweetener of 240,000 shillings (£1,960) taking their monthly pay to 1,091,000 shillings (£8,920).

In June 2010 the minimum wage in Kenya was raised to £50 a month for employees in cities and £25 for farm workers; or a city employee earns 1/178th of an MP!

President Mwai Kibaki and his cohorts have just awarded themselves a "send off bonus" of $110,000 each, to be paid when parliament breaks up ahead of elections due in March 2013.

For a healthy economy with sustainable growth, we need to return the income equality back to a variable of 10 to 15 times between the highest and lowest paid employee. And I would love to hear the argument as to why an Executive in the Port of Melbourne is worth twice the salary of the Premier of the State as I do not think Big Ted is over paid! And please do not mention Alan Joyce from Qantus, who has not delivered a dividend since he arrived!