The NSW Minerals Council has hit back at a draft National Competition Council recommendation that endorses the Port of Newcastle's right to set charges for customers who use its infrastructure.
The minerals council believes the government should control pricing.
Among its concerns - outlined in its 39-page submission - the minerals council said its members had a keen interest in the port's development, in particular the evolution of a container terminal.
It urged the National Competition Council to urgently address what it described as unfair market power.
"Contrary to the view of the National Competition Council, Port of Newcastle is operating on a 15-year time frame to largely replace coal exports with container operations at the port," the submission said.
"NSWMC therefore believes that the NCC should address infrastructure issues in the Hunter Valley at this time by declaring the Services at the Port to provide the coal industry with a fair and equitable access safeguard through declaration, as PNO seeks to develop its container operations and associated $2 billion expenditure at the Port."
A Port of Newcastle spokesman said the Minerals Council had not provided evidence for its arguments.
"The key point is that the charge of the use of the channel is irrelevant to the international coal market," he said.
"The Channel charge is less than one per cent of export costs.
"PON's charges have not impacted the sale of coal at any time since privatisation. The NSWMC has not provided any evidence to support their complaints. The coal industry can't point to one tonne of coal being affected by port pricing in the past five years."
"In reality, the coal industry set a new record of 166 million tonnes of coal exported last year, all in an unregulated environment."