Ports Australia has signed the Guiding Principles for Australian Defence Force Access to National Ports, with the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
The document, signed earlier this week by CEO, Mike Gallacher and Commander Joint Logistics (RAN), Rear Admiral Ian Murray, acknowledges the individual roles and purposes of Australia’s ports and the ADF respectively, and the necessity to guide and foster relationships between the two. It also acts as a framework that can be used between the ADF and ports to establish specific access arrangements that ensure ports’ operations remain smooth and unaffected.
With respect to the commercial and trade commitments by our ports, part of the agreement outlines the acknowledgement by the ADF of this, and how it can affect the access each port can offer. However, it also stresses the best level of access for the ADF will always be sought.
There is an enduring importance for the ADF – particularly the RAN ¬– to access Australia’s port infrastructure to maintain their vital role as protectors of Australia. The RAN’s access to Australia’s port network is essential for re-fuelling, embarking and disembarking troops, equipment and munitions replenishing, conducting maintenance, and to rest crew-members.
CEO, Mike Gallacher stressed the value of the agreement for all parties involved.
“For Ports Australia, our members and the ADF, this is not just the signing of a document, but the strengthening of a relationship that is absolutely crucial in the interest of the Australian people.
“Not only is this a step forward for Australia’s defence effort, but a win for each port that has the chance to work with the ADF – this is our ports’ opportunity for development of ties with Australia’s central defence network.
“As the demand increases on the port sector’s function for efficient movement of goods, people and ships to ensure the ongoing prosperity of Australia’s economy, the growing operations that occur at ports has and will affect the access the ADF have. This agreement ensures that despite such growth, we can still support our valued and respected partners that protect our nation day-in-day-out,” Mike said.