Will a national port regular solve congestion problems in Australian ports?

Tabatha Pettitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Australia's ports are an integral part of the nation's economy, which relies heavily on trade. In Australia, the governance of ports is the responsibility of the governments of Australia's six states and the Northern Territory, all of which have their own legislation covering the running of the ports and the establishment of port corporations. The respective legislation governing the running of Australia's ports is not uniform, and neither are the models for port management that they create. In May 2005, the then Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Transport Minister announced that the Commonwealth planned to take control of the planning and investment decision making of Australia's ports. The reasoning behind this is said to be Australia's poor trade performance and bottlenecks in ports which hold up trade and ultimately cost money. The Federal government has sought to do this under Section 51(i) of the Australian Constitution in order to update and integrate Australia's transport system. This announcement has caused disquiet among the states that had no previous notice of the announcement and for which ports are a major source of revenue. The transfer of power to the Commonwealth may lead to the Commonwealth being able to take further powers from the states, not only in relation to the ports but in relation to other areas such as industrial relations. Industry groups claim they have been pushing for a larger role for the Commonwealth in the running of the nation's ports, but question as to what extent the Commonwealth should be involved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-130
Number of pages10
JournalMaritime Policy and Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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