THE PORT Authority of New South Wales on Thursday (17 August) hosted an all-day forum for stakeholders in port operations in Sydney Harbour and Port Botany.

The Safe and Efficient Port Operations Forum featured 12 speakers from various maritime disciplines discussing different aspects of port operations. It was attended by about 120 people from more than 50 organisations.

Port Authority of NSW chief operating officer John Finch told DCN the idea for the forum came from a monthly port user group meeting of Botany and Sydney port users.

“We canvassed the idea of having a forum that would enable us to promote more transparent communications, not just form ourselves, but the port users, the customers, the stakeholders and the service providers in one forum,” he said.

“The idea was to get a common level of understanding so we could all understand decision-making processes and decide what’s the best way to go forward and to make the ports more efficient and safer for everybody.”

Mr Finch said the forum was a great success and the port authority would consider organising further, similar events in the future.

“It’s been highly successful and highly worthwhile. We’ll engage with customers and stakeholders going forward about what this could look like,” he said.

“Do we make it a state-wide thing, or do we make the forums geographically specific? Do we bring in the bulk industry with Newcastle and Kembla? We might need a bigger venue next time. Once the genie is out of the bottle, you can’t put it back in.”