The Economic Development Minister has today (29 May 2014) published a consultation document that gives Islanders the chance to comment on the proposed incorporation of the Ports of Jersey. The incorporation would see the transformation of Jersey Harbours and Jersey Airport into a single company wholly owned by the States of Jersey.
The States gave in principle support to this process in October 2012. The technical elements of this work are now complete and available for public comment at www.gov.je/consultations. These include a detailed assessment of the case for incorporation, an analysis of the regulatory framework that would surround the new company, and the Air and Sea Ports (Incorporation) Jersey Law 201-, which would give legal effect to the incorporation.
The intention is to give the new company the commercial freedom to pursue growth projects and generate returns that would be used to meet the significant capital costs of operating the harbours and airport. If this is not done, these very significant costs will fall to ports users and/or the taxpayer.
In addition to full States of Jersey ownership, there are numerous safeguards in place to further protect the public interest. As the ports would be a natural monopoly, the Channel Islands Competition Regulatory Authority would regulate the business activities of the new company. The oversight of safety and security matters would remain with government and would be subject to international conventions, as is currently the case.
The Minister for Economic Development, Senator Alan Maclean, said:
“I am aware that this process, like any change, may raise concerns in the minds of some people. I hope that the public will take the opportunity to consider this consultation, and to respond to my Department with their opinions.
“I am confident that, when all the facts have been considered, it will be clear that incorporation is the best future course for the ports, and the only realistic answer to meet the future capital programme without the burden falling on either the ports users and/or the taxpayer.”
A number of public meetings will be held in the course of the consultation. The Minister will hold meetings to discuss incorporation as detailed below, and the Ports of Jersey will be holding briefings on particular topics. The dates of these briefings are available with the consultation documents online.
Consultation responses should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
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