Ports Australia is calling for early industry consultation to be included in the Federal Government’s Productivity Commission review into Australia’s supply chain stability.

Ports Australia has already expressed keen interest in receiving updates from the commission and in providing a submission to the review.

Seeking the perspectives of industry will be integral to developing a productive and useful review, according to Ports Australia, which explores how we can bolster the stability of Australia’s supply chain which has proven itself strong over the last COVID-ridden 12 months.

Ports Australia said the pandemic has proven how resilient Australia’s supply chain is when faced with a turbulent global market, public panic (evidenced by panic-buying in supermarkets), and a challenged national economy.

Ports Australia CEO, Mike Gallacher, was encouraged by the intentions of the review, but urged early engagement with industry.

“Ports Australia welcomes the recognition made by the Federal Government that our supply chain has proven itself resilient in the face of COVID, and it is the unstable global supply chain which is placing strain on Australian industries and economies,” Mr Gallacher said.

“No one port around Australia is the same, which is why it’s imperative the Productivity Commission seeks input from industry to develop a holistically informed report which will identify future opportunities for the Australian freight network.

“Issues like disruption, congestion, and port productivity are all flow-on effects of a global supply chain under duress, and Ports Australia welcomes the opportunity to analyse our relationship with that global market and how we can better fortify our operations against its volatility.

“It will be interesting to analyse the effect of global supply chain events such as the current situation in Los Angeles where as of late January, more than 30 container ships were anchored off the coast waiting to berth, rendering inevitable delays around the globe.

“For productivity and transparency, Ports Australia also calls for all submissions to the Productivity Commission to be made public when it is appropriate to do so.

“Ports Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s interest in securing the stability of our supply chain and looks forward to engaging early and providing our ports sector’s unique and essential input.”

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