OVERSIGHT of the Port of Varanus Island was transferred today (1 July) to Pilbara Ports Authority.

The Port of Varanus Island is the first of five ports in the Pilbara region to be transferred to Pilbara Ports Authority. Under the transfer, PPA will oversee marine safety for the port.

The move is part of the second phase of the Western Australia government’s ports governance reform program.

This program aims to bring all commercial ports under the same regulatory regime. The ports are progressively transferring from the Department of Transport to regional port authorities.

The Port of Varanus Island is operated by mining company Santos for the export of condensate. The port is about 75 kilometres from the Pilbara mainland and 140 kilometres west of the Port of Dampier.

Around five vessels berth at the Port of Varanus Island each year.

Pilbara Ports Authority will oversee operations on the island remotely from Dampier.

Pilbara Ports Authority CEO Roger Johnston said the Port of Varanus Island will transition from the Shipping and Pilotage Act to the Ports Authorities Act.

“The consolidation of commercial ports will ensure better safety, planning and co-ordination of port development in the Pilbara region,” he said.

“Our experience in port management, maritime safety and maintenance of port infrastructure is long standing and will ensure a smooth transition.”

This article has been updated to reflect that oversight of the port was transferred to PPA on 1 July, not 1 June.