Melbourne port operator ICTSI may be investigated by State and Federal authorities
The Construction Forestry Mining Maritime Energy Union is calling for the contract won by ICTSI in 2014 to operate the third container terminal at the Port of Melbourne to be investigated by both the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments, Maritime Union of Australia announces in its press release.
Construction Forestry Mining Maritime Energy Union International President and MUA National Secretary Paddy Crumlin said there were serious questions that needed to be answered about the probity and governance of the awarding of the contract to ICTSI.
Crumlin was speaking at the launch of the report ICTSI Exposed, produced by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) at Parliament House, Canberra.
“Today we are launching a report which examines the global practices of ICTSI who won a contract to operate the third terminal at the Port of Melbourne in 2014,” Crumlin said.
"It is a fact that at the time the contract was awarded ICTSI was in business with the Government of Sudan - while both the United Nations and United States had placed sanctions on doing business with the regime.
“The President of Sudan was then - and still is today - wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.
“A few months before they won the Port of Melbourne deal in 2014 they entered into a contract with the Sudanese government for management of two container terminals.
“ICTSI then last month won a 20 year deal with the Sudanese Government for the South Port.
“At the time the then Liberal Victorian Government awarded the contract active international criminal charges had been laid against the President of Sudan.
“Just as troubling is the financial relationship between ICTSI and the Government of Sudan who are listed by the United States as a state sponsor of terrorism.
“Why would you hand over a sensitive and critical piece of infrastructure as a port terminal to a company with financial ties to a Government listed as a state sponsor of terrorism?”
This raises many important questions that must be investigated including:
Was the Sudan deal disclosed to the Victorian Government as part of the tender process?
Did the Victorian Government consult with relevant Commonwealth security agencies considering the financial relationship between ICTSI and the Government of Sudan?
Was a probity and governance advisor appointed for the transaction and if they were has their report been released publicly?
Construction Forestry Mining Maritime Energy Union National Secretary Michael O’Connor said it was time for both levels of Government to commence an immediate inquiry into the ICTSI contract at the Port of Melbourne.
“If you operate a sensitive and critical piece of economic infrastructure such as a port you must be held to the highest standards yet ICTSI has a long history of dealing with some of the worst and most dangerous governments in the world, including Sudan, Syria and Congo,” O’Connor said.
“The minimum a responsible government should do is investigate these matters to reassure the public the operation of the terminal at the Port of Melbourne does not compromise our international obligations and meets the strictest of security standards.”