The Southern Ports was established on 1 October 2014 following the merger of the Albany Port Authority, Bunbury Port Authority,  and Esperance Port Authority.

The legislation enabling the merger of the ports, The Ports Legislation Amendment Act 2014, was given Royal Assent on 20 May 2014.

The merger of the previous three port authorities was initiated by a comprehensive review of Western Australia’s ports commissioned in 2010. The scope of the review was to look at all matters concerning port operations, port governance and port performance to ensure that Western Australia’s ports could continue to respond to the demands of the State’s rapidly growing economy.

The key objectives of the consolidation of Western Australia’s ports are:

  • Optimising use of port infrastructure;
  • Improving investment decisions;
  • Enhancing Corporate governance via strategic, operational and financial planning, risk management, human resources and skills management, stakeholder management, safety management and environmental management;
  • Reducing expenditure through efficiency gains and reduced duplication of effort;
  • Improving commercial practices and skills, acumen and capability;
  • Ensuring better planning and coordination of port development;
  • Indentifying and actively pursuing appropriate opportunities for the private sector to invest in port infrastructure and to deliver port services;
  • Providing consistency of port views on regulation issues; and
  • Extending economy of scale benefits for service provision.

Southern Ports Authority employees are located in Albany, Bunbury, Esperance and Perth.