Media Centre

Sovereign Maritime Key to WA Supply Chain Resilience

The release this week of the WA Shipping and Supply Chain Taskforce report adds weight to increasing calls to strengthen Australia’s supply chain resilience and sovereign maritime capability.

Reflecting on recent catastrophic flooding events that suspended essential rail and road connectivity to the eastern states, and completely isolated remote communities in the Kimberly, the report notes these events exposed major vulnerabilities in WA’s supply chain security with an overreliance on road and rail, and foreign shipping lines.

“The importance of coastal shipping to WA’s supply chain security and economic prosperity more generally is clear,” says MIAL CEO Angela Gillham.

“Australia should be a strong maritime nation. We are an island and utterly dependent on sea transport, but when it comes to shipping, we have an ever-diminishing fleet, and are almost completely reliant on foreign assets and human capital, which is a major gap in our national resilience.”

The report recognises the need to implement measures to support the growth in the Australian fleet by levelling the playing field with international carriers and makes several recommendations relating to changes to Federal law that the WA Government should support.

MIAL CEO Angela Gillham says:

“It is incredibly important that Australian shipping businesses are afforded the opportunity to complete on a level playing field with foreign shipping.

“The report recommendations relating to Australian shipping taxation and improving the Australian International Shipping Register are necessary reforms that MIAL has been calling for.

“Nations with large fleets controlled under their own flags recognise the benefits: critical maritime skills development; economic diversity and revenue generation from the associated maritime economic cluster; control of critical strategic assets; and supply chain security.

“The Albanese Government’s strategic fleet policy aims to build Australia’s national maritime capability, which is a critical element of Australia’s national resilience. We welcome the strong support from WA for the policy and look forward to Government announcements on moving towards implementation in the national interest.”

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