Media Release

Ports must be recognised as essential services to keep Australia running

Posted on
March 25, 2020

Ports Australia is calling for recognition of ports and their personnel as essential services in all Australian states so we can keep Australia running. We’ve been in close contact with the Australian Government discussing how this absolute necessity should be approached to achieve the best outcome for the safety of port staff and livelihood of Australia.

As the necessary safety measures ramp up around the nation, we rely on our essential services to keep Australia running, whether they be our medical staff, emergency services or supermarkets. Our supply chains are critical to ensure fuel, food and other much needed essential commodities are being delivered around the nation and it is imperative that our ports stay open and their personnel allowed to keep working.

While the global climate is still in flux, we’re now seeing encouraging signs coming from overseas where the numbers of shipping containers full of goods are starting to show early signs of recovery, however these improvements must be matched with the appropriate workforce inside the port-gate ready to do the job. It’s essential we consider how our critical supply chain staff are able to travel to and from their job and perform their regular duties in a way that is safe and hygienic but not disruptive to the provision of supplying the nation. Recognition as an essential service means these workers can get to their job quickly and safely and have greater access to the relevant Personal Protective Equipment.

CEO, Mike Gallacher could not stress enough the importance of this consideration and acknowledged the work already being done in this space.

“It’s great to see sectors coming together at a time where unity is paramount. Ports are no different – we’ve got a constant stream of dialogue running between our member ports and government officials,” Mike said.

“On behalf of Ports Australia, I’d like to encourage the government to expedite their consideration of this determination as time is critical. The government response measures are expanding every day as the likelihood of limiting the movement of people throughout community grows ever closer. From ships arriving to unload at our ports, right through to trucks delivering much needed food and goods to the people stacking shelves at retail shops, an unbroken supply chain is critical for community confidence at this time,” Mike ended.

Media: Josh Appleton – E:, P: 0439 833 628

Ports Australia is the peak industry body representingport authorities and corporations, both publicly and privately owned, at thenational level.

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