Transport Minister Dean Nalder today confirmed that three of Western Australia’s new regionally based port authorities will commence operations from July 1, 2014, following an independent review of the State Government’s ports amalgamation process.
The Minister commissioned the review into the new ports authorities’ readiness to commence operations following delays to the passage through State Parliament of the Ports Legislation Amendment Act 2014.
The legislation was expected to be enacted in December 2013, providing for a six-month transition period for the consolidation of seven of WA’s eight port authorities into four new overarching regional ports authorities – Kimberley, Pilbara, Mid West and Southern.
Mr Nalder said the review, conducted by an independent panel and facilitated by the Department of Finance, had provided Government with certainty that the late passage of the Act would not impede the amalgamation process.
“However, the review team did find that given the differences in operating models across the ports of Bunbury, Albany and Esperance, the planned changes to the operating strategies of these ports merging to become the Southern Ports Authority are more complicated,” he said.
“As such, the review team has recommended a short delay in the establishment of the Southern Ports Authority, which will become operational in the near future. This will ensure a smoother transition and provide for confidence among customers, board members and staff.”
Mr Nalder said the existing port authorities of Broome, Port Hedland, Dampier and Geraldton would cease to exist from July 1 and be replaced by their respective regional ports authority.
Operations at all ports would continue as usual throughout the transition period and the boards and chairs of the four new regional ports authorities would soon be formally appointed.