- Seven of eight regional port authorities to be consolidated into four to improve efficiency
- Fremantle to remain as stand-alone Port Authority
- Staged consolidation to commence in 2014
The State Government today outlined its plans to undertake the biggest reform of the State’s ports in decades, to ensure the wealth generated by increasing commodity exports delivered greater benefits to the Western Australian community.
Under the plan, seven of the State’s eight port authorities will be consolidated into four regional port authorities to improve efficiency and reduce red tape.
Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett said the plan was developed after a comprehensive review of the governance of WA ports undertaken by the Liberal-National Government.
“The current port governance model has served the State well since it was introduced by the Court Coalition government in 1995, but the growing demand for WA commodities meant it was time to review this model to ensure we provide our ports with the most effective framework for the future,” Mr Barnett said.
“Since 2000, the value of WA's merchandise exports has risen by more than 300 per cent - from $25.4billion to $112.2billion - and our share of merchandise exports increased from 26 per cent to 46 per cent of the nation’s total.
“There are currently 21 ports; and new ports will be constructed at Barrow Island’s Gorgon project, Wheatstone, Oakajee, James Price Point and Anketell. It clearly makes sense to consolidate all these existing and future ports into an appropriately managed regional port structure.
“Our ports facilitate the State’s wealth and, by implementing a more efficient framework, the Liberal-National Government will ensure that more of the wealth being generated is returned to the community through improved health, education, police and other services.”
Transport Minister Troy Buswell said the 13 smaller ports currently controlled by the Department of Transport would come under the jurisdiction of the regional port authorities, with Fremantle to remain a stand-alone port authority.
“The creation of regional port authorities will ensure better planning and co-ordination of port development across the State and that our smaller ports can be adequately resourced,” Mr Buswell said.
"No decision has been made on which regional port authority will be formed first - the timing and extent of amalgamations will depend on current contracts and potential impact on port customers and industry.
“Five future ports planned for the Kimberley, Pilbara and Mid-West will also come under the control of the four regional port authorities.
“There will be extensive consultation with port customers and industry, and the State Government expects to announce the first regional port authority in 2014.”
Mr Buswell said amendments to legislation to enable the phased consolidation would be drafted this year and presented to State Parliament in 2013, with a staged implementation to commence from 2014.
- The consolidation will take place in stages and involve the creation of the following Port Authorities:
- Kimberley Ports Authority comprising the ports of Broome, Derby, Wyndham, Cockatoo Island, Koolan Island and the proposed port at James Price Point
- Pilbara Ports Authority comprising the ports of Port Hedland and Dampier, the proposed new ports at Anketell and Ashburton North; and the ports at Cape Preston, Port Walcott, Varanus Island, Barrow Island, Airlie Island, Thevenard Island and Onslow
- Mid-West Ports Authority comprising the port of Geraldton, the proposed new port of Oakajee, and the ports at Cape Cuvier and Useless Loop
- Southern Ports Authority comprising the ports of Bunbury, Albany and Esperance
- Fremantle will remain a stand-alone port authority
- The consolidation of regional port authorities will require amendments to the Shipping and Pilotage Act 1967 and the Port Authorities Act 1999
Premier’s office - 6552 5000
Transport Minister’s office - 6552 6400