The Victorian Farmers Federation has expressed grave concerns about plans to acquire the port of Geelong by a consortium that has an interest in the port of Portland. A consortium of investors comprised of Spirit Superannuation, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation and the Diversified Infrastructure Fund managed by Palisade Investment Partners has proposed acquiring 100 per cent of the port of Geelong. Investors managed by Palisade wholly own and operate the Port of Portland, while Spirit Superannuation has a minority interest in Flinders Ports, which owns and operates seven ports across South Australia. The VFF says it shares the concerns of Australia's competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, over the proposed acquisition. President Emma Germano said the VFF was worried common ownership may substantially reduce the level of competition for long-term bulk port customers. "Post-acquisition, Palisade would control on behalf of investors, 100 per cent of the Port of Portland and a 49pc interest in the Port of Geelong," Ms Germano told the ACCC. Read more: Portland ready to spend, if rail line is upgraded The VFF was concerned this might reduce competitive tension between the two ports in making future investments to secure such customers. "Both ports are important bulk commodity ports servicing western Victoria." Competition was vital for improving the efficiency of supply chains and reducing costs. For some customers, the Port of Geelong and Port of Portland were the only viable options. "As an export-orientated industry, a well-functioning maritime logistics system is especially critical for Victorian agriculture which relies on the state's ports and shipping networks to transport their products to overseas markets," Ms Germano said. "Furthermore, Victoria's agricultural production supply chains are highly reliant on access to bulk imported inputs such as fuel and fertiliser. "The VFF is especially concerned about the impact of reduced competition on the grain industry which relies on both the Port of Geelong and the Port of Portland for bulk exports. "As noted in the 2010 Productivity Commission report into Wheat Export Marketing Arrangements, greater competition can 'improve the efficiency of the grain supply chain. "These efficiency improvements lower the costs of the supply chain, providing benefits to the industry, and particularly to growers." The Port of Hastings and Port of Melbourne did not provide viable long-term alternates for long term bulk grain exports.