Port poised for freight boom

Broome Advertiser - - Front Page - Glenn Cord­ing­ley

The Port of Broome has been iden­ti­fied as hav­ing the po­ten­tial ben­e­fit of an im­pend­ing “freight tsunami” as the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment con­sid­ers changes to do­mes­tic shipping leg­is­la­tion.

Peak mar­itime body Ports Aus­tralia said Broome was one of 77 ports around the coun­try that needed to brace for a pre­dicted dou­bling of sea cargo by 2030 as more op­er­a­tors looked to the “blue high­way” to trans­port goods in­stead of re­ly­ing on planes and trucks.

Ports Aus­tralia has al­ready en­gaged Deloitte Ac­cess Eco­nomics to ex­plore ports play­ing a more ac­tive role in shipping do­mes­tic freight that would drive com­pe­ti­tion and re­duce costs for con­sumers and busi­nesses.

The re­port will be tabled in the Com­mon­wealth Par­lia­ment later this year at the re­quest of the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment.

Ear­lier this year when rains flooded parts of the Great North­ern High­way, barges op­er­ated out of Port Hed­land in the Pil­bara to the Port of Broome.

The sup­plies were then trucked to stock-starved su­per­mar­kets in the town and Derby.

Kim­ber­ley Ports Au­thor­ity chief ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Schel­lack said he be­lieved ports in the Kim­ber­ley stood to ben­e­fit from a bur­geon­ing lo­cal growth sec­tor.

“Keep­ing our blue lanes open I think is a re­ally good thing and it’s cer­tainly the way for heavy traf­fic as north­ern WA de­vel­ops,” he said.

“Deloitte’s eco­nomic re­port on coastal shipping is well over­due

and it’s good to see some­one is do­ing some­thing about it.

“Cer­tainly we are in sup­port and I think this is par­tic­u­larly ap­pro­pri­ate for Broome and the Kim­ber­ley.”

Ports Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Gal­lacher said mov­ing freight pre­sented great chal­lenges and op­por­tu­ni­ties for Aus­tralia in the wake of grow­ing con­ges­tion, stretched rail net­works and more trucks on high­ways.

He said gov­ern­ments were plan­ning var­i­ous ways to meet the grow­ing de­mand but one com­mon theme was the omis­sion of ports as part of the so­lu­tion.

“Ports at­tract eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity and op­por­tu­nity. For places like Broome that means more in­vest­ment, more busi­ness and more jobs,” Mr Gal­lacher said.

“We have to start think­ing smarter about freight. Using the blue high­way is one way.

“Our ports are vi­tal for in­ter­na­tional trade. On any given day they fa­cil­i­tate $1.2 bil­lion of trade. There is no rea­son they shouldn’t of­fer the same ad­van­tage do­mes­ti­cally.”

Pic­ture: Glenn Cord­ing­ley

Kim­ber­ley Ports chief ex­ec­u­tive Kevin Schel­lack at the Port of Broome.

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