Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Hon Rita Saffioti BBus MLA

Minister for Transport; Planning; Ports

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Hon Roger Cook BA GradDipBus MBA MLA

Deputy Premier; Minister for State Development, Jobs and Trade; Tourism; Commerce; Science

    New taskforce to examine Western Australian shipping industry

    5/03/2022 7:00 AM
    • McGowan Government to establish Shipping and Supply Chain Taskforce
    • New taskforce will examine resilience of Australia's shipping industry and vital supply chains
    • Taskforce to be led by Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Ports Jessica Stojkovski MLA, and the Hon. Kyle McGinn MLC
    • Will report back to Minister by March 31, 2023

    The McGowan Government is establishing a Taskforce to examine the state's shipping industry and supply chains that link Western Australia with the east coast and international customers.


    The taskforce comes in response to the recent significant disruption to the supply chain into WA, a result of the east-west rail link being closed for 24 days due to unprecedented flooding.


    The impact of the disruption, which is still being felt on WA supermarket shelves, raises questions about what else can be done to strengthen the State's supply chain.


    In addition, severe weather events in the north-west have also caused significant disruption and costs to the community, which means now is the time to explore all options in securing freight and supply chains.


    WA is home to some of the world's busiest ports, and the McGowan Government is keen to train more Western Australians to play key roles in the shipping industry and perform vital functions in our ports.


    The taskforce will examine:

    • the role intrastate and interstate shipping can play as an ancillary route for freight movements in the event of natural disasters and disruptions to other supply chains;
    • potential support for a national approach to the agile use of interstate shipping to strengthen critical supply chains;
    • the sustainability and resilience of WA's on-water maritime labour force, including any emerging skill gaps, training requirements or critical worker shortages;
    • opportunities to develop multi-modal responsiveness towards disruptions in vital WA freight supply chains; and
    • opportunities to improve supply chain co-ordination and service quality at WA ports.

    The taskforce will be chaired by the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Transport and Ports Jessica Stojkovski MLA, and the Hon. Kyle McGinn MLC.


    The taskforce announcement comes days after the Maritime Industry of Australia Limited called on the Government to urgently guarantee the survival of an Australian flagged commercial shipping fleet.


    Engagement will be undertaken with the shipping and transport industry, customers, port authorities, unions and the broader community.


    The taskforce will identify and recommend implementable options to improve shipping industry utility and will report back to Cabinet by March 31, 2023.


    The ability to deliver these outcomes will be reliant on assistance and coordination with the Federal Government.


    Comments attributed to Transport and Ports Minister Rita Saffioti:


    "We saw firsthand the disruption to our supply chains the once-in-a-200-year flooding in South Australia caused when it washed away parts of the Trans-Australia railway.


    "We see this as a national issue, and we are keen to work with any Federal Government willing to help us to better strengthen our east-west supply links.


    "It's important we examine other supply chain options in the event of future natural disasters and disruptions - having better access to a local shipping fleet would be one option to future-proof our freight supply chain.


    "The taskforce will speak with the shipping industry, customers, port authorities, unions and the broader community, and I look forward to receiving the report early next year."


    Comments attributed to State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister Roger Cook:


    "Improving transport links and building more resilient supply chains is vital to diversifying WA's economy, particularly into our State's regions.


    "This initiative demonstrates that once again the McGowan Government is responding to the needs of our communities and industries."


    Transport and Ports Minister's office - 6552 5200

    State Development, Jobs and Trade Minister's office - 6552 6500