A Future Ports Strategy for Australia

Publication Date
05 May 2010

Joint Statement by the Michael Deegan, Infrastructure Coordinator, Infrastructure Australia; and Chief Executive Officer of the National Transport Commission, Nick Dimopoulos

The draft National Ports Strategy, released today for public consultation, calls for long-term coordinated planning of Australia's major ports and their related transport corridors and shipping channels.

Australia's bulk commodity exports and metropolitan container imports are both expected to double in size every ten years. Long-term planning will provide greater clarity of how future port capacity will match those trade forecasts.

Four priorities were identified in the strategy through analysis and stakeholder consultation:

  • Coordinated long-term planning for relevant ports
  • Less red tape to smooth the execution of port plans
  • Lower landside transport costs through improved efficiency
  • Greater clarity and transparency

Responsibility for the planning and operation of Australia's ports, which handle 25% of all freight moved, currently cuts across all three levels of government. Better coordination of those activities will help to improve productivity and attract greater private sector investment.

The report also identifies opportunities to reduce landside costs through the implementation of best practice efficiency reforms, such as peak pricing at ports and supply chain coordination.

As an island nation, our ports are Australia's gateway to the world. A nationally coordinated approach to the planning and development of port infrastructure is essential for Australia's future economic growth.

Release of the draft National Ports Strategy for stakeholder, industry and community comment is an important part of the policy development and submissions can be made until May 28.

Consultation documents and the strategy can be found on the NTC website at: National Ports Strategy

Submissions should be addressed to:

The Infrastructure Coordinator
Infrastructure Australia
GPO Box 594

Submissions will be placed on the Infrastructure Australia website unless marked “Confidential”

Prime Minister, The Hon Kevin Rudd MP, asked Infrastructure Australia and the National Transport Commission to develop a National Ports Strategy, which will be considered by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in 2010.

The National Ports Strategy is an integral plank in the development of Australia's national freight plan, which is being coordinated by Infrastructure Australia.