Saturday 17th Nov, 2018

Ports Australia Conference ends with discussions of politics and the blue highway

Ports Australia CEO Michael Gallacher speaks at the end of the Ports Australia Biennial Conference 2018 in Darwin. Ian Ackerman/DCN
Ports Australia CEO Michael Gallacher speaks at the end of the Ports Australia Biennial Conference 2018 in Darwin. Ian Ackerman/DCN

THE final day of the 46th Ports Australia Biennial Conference was heavy on the politics, and there was much discussion of perhaps the most contentious issue in the industry: coastal shipping.

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The day kicked off with Port of Darwin CEO Terry O’Connor speaking briefly about the Port of Darwin, and introducing the shadow minister for transport and infrastructure Anthony Albanese.

Mr Albanese said it was the fifth time he had spoken at a Ports Australia Biennial Conference. In addition to his comments on coastal shipping (see further coverage here), he spoke about protecting transport corridors, the missing link in Inland Rail (Acacia Ridge to Port of Brisbane), and even quoted Adam Smith talking about coastal shipping in 1700s Britain.

Mr Albanese said he looked forward to speaking at future conferences, “hopefully without the dirtiest word in politics. No, it’s not Abbott, it’s shadow”.

The day continued with presentations on port strategy from Department of Infrastructure executive director regional development and cities Alex Foulds, and DFAT chief economist for trade and investment David Holly.

The conference ended with Ports Australia CEO Michael Gallacher discussing the importance of the ports industry and also the great importance of getting more freight onto the blue highway.



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