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The WA Government has announced a major shakeup to how the state’s industrial ports are managed.
Yesterday Premier Colin Barnett and Transport Minister Troy Buswell said all of WA’s ports would be consolidated and overseen by four regional authorities: the Kimberley Port Authority, Pilbara Port Authority, and Mid West and Southern authorities.
The new bodies will also take control of the 13 smaller ports currently managed by the Department of Transport.
Under the current system WA’s 21 ports are managed by eight different authorities.
The Pilbara authority will control the state’s major iron ore hub, Port Hedland, which is the export route used by BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group, Atlas Iron, and other smaller companies.
Rio Tinto’s port operations at Dampier will also be managed by the Pilbara authority.
WA Chamber of Minerals and Energy chief executive Reg Howard-Smith yesterday welcomed the announcement.
He said in a statement the move was an important step toward gaining efficiency at key ports.
“The consolidation of Regional Port Authorities should enable the State Government to bolster the expertise and experience needed at WA Ports, to improve the management and performance of these key export points," he said.
Howard-Smith said while the changes may lead to more efficient operations, it was "extremely important" that current operations and expansions were not impacted by the changes.