PORTS Australia has called for a regularly-updated summary document to provide transparency in government measures to halt the spread of coronavirus.

A “heavy flow of information” has emanated from federal, state and territory authorities in recent times outlining measures that while necessary also impact on the movement of freight.

Examples in recent weeks include the Western Australian government announcing the closure of their borders (with measures in place for continuing maritime trade).

Ports Australia CEO Mike Gallacher expressed appreciation for the work being done around the nation but underlined the need for transparency.

“COVID-19 remains a fluid situation and one creating unique challenges for all, evident as we see the measures enforced on a federal level being built upon by individual states and territories to serve their unique conditions and risk assessments,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT  

Mr Gallacher called for more transparency around current protocols which “we believe this could be achieved through a routinely updated document issued by the federal government in collaboration with each state or territories’ most relevant government entity, which concisely outlines the current practices around the nation”.

Such a measure would, he said, hold real value for all members of the supply chain – ports, shipping lines, importers and exporters alike.

“We appreciate many industry members have produced documents like this in recent weeks, but for consistency and reliability, we believe it should be government-produced and regularly updated,” Mr Gallacher said.

“After raising this in an industry-wide teleconference chaired by Deputy Prime Minister, Michael McCormack, we’re confident the federal government will see this as a necessity and respond promptly to ensure ongoing industry confidence.”

 Mr Gallacher said the last thing anyone wanted was a lack of accessible information creating uncertainty across trade networks and causing cracks in “the vital supply chain”.

ADVERTISEMENT