The State Government of Western Australia (WA) wants to set up a taskforce to investigate how WA’s freight and supply chains could be strengthened, potentially by bringing back an interstate shipping route.
n January and February, flooding in South Australia closed down WA’s main rail link to the east coast for 24 days, throwing supply chains into chaos and resulting in empty supermarket shelves.
Now, taskforce co-chair Kyle McGinn has told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that “some of the initial talks are around a seven-day turnaround, with two vessels running from east to west.”
Shipping hasn’t had this opportunity in over 30 years, where it’s needed to be a crucial part of the supply chain here in WA. Shipping is consistent. It doesn’t stop
In a similar development, New Zealand decided earlier this year to invest $19.4m into a coastal shipping initiative, with Transport minister Michael Wood, noting that “coastal shipping is a small but important part of the New Zealand freight system, which is why the government is investing in making coastal shipping a more viable alternative to strengthen and diversify our domestic supply chain, helping to secure New Zealand’s recovery from covid-19. As a lower emissions transport mode, investing in coastal shipping will also help us achieve our decarbonisation goals.”