National ports strategy proposal by next year: Rudd

Infrastructure Australia and the NTC will work on developing national ports strategy by next year

Infrastructure Australia will work with the National Transport Commission (NTC) to develop a national ports strategy throughout next year, which will be put forward to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) for consideration.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says Australia needs a nationally coordinated approach towards the future development of its ports and freight infrastructure.

The proposed scheme will cover both container and commodity ports and aim to identify the most effective regulatory and governance frameworks, land planning and corridor preservation improvement and future infrastructure requirements for ports including road and rail links.

"In the past there have been examples where sea access and port side developments have not been coordinated with land side developments such as road and rail investments [and] a national ports strategy will address this," Rudd says.

"Smarter regulation, governance, planning and pricing will make our ports more efficient and ensure they are part of a supply chain that efficiently moves goods from the farms, mines and factories to international markets."

Rudd outlined the plans for the ports strategy in Western Australia last week where he also put the plans on the table for a $4 billion deep seas port at Oakajee.

The project which will be jointly funded by the WA and Federal Governments will aim to expand Oakajee’s potential to ship 63 million tonnes of iron ore per year by 2023 up from the current annual output which is 35 million tonnes.

The Oakajee upgrade will also see the construction of a 6,500 hectare industrial estate which will accommodate gas and iron ore processing as well as new areas of industry such including fertiliser and chemical production.

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