NT retains Darwin Port stake
The NT Government is claiming a win after deciding not to sell its stake in Darwin Port, even though it delivers no extra profits and gives up the right of veto.
The Government has struck a deal to keep a 20 per cent interest in the port, which had been leased to Chinese for Landbridge for 99 years.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said holding on to 20 per cent would give Territorians “a say”.
“This gives Territorians, the Territory Government, a direct say in the appointment of positions like the chief executive officer, the chief financial officer, the chief operations officer and the most senior person for Landbridge in Australia,” Mr Gunner said.
The 20 per cent holding was originally carved out by the previous CLP government in 2015, but was intended to be sold to an Australian buyer.
But the Chief Minister now says that keeping it in state hands would help maintain a level of strategic control of the port.
“Now Territorians can have confidence over the next 98 years the Territory Government's going to be involved with the operations of the port, making sure our strategic future is secured,” he said
While the 20 per cent holding does not the government complete control, it does have a right of involvement in some decisions.
“We don't have veto but we must be consulted,” Mr Gunner said.
The Government did not pay for the ownership of its 20 per cent stake and so will not share in any profits.
The NT Government is allowed to divest its stake, but the Chief Minister says there are no plans to do that.