Improved biosecurity opens Pilbara to the world

The Pilbara Ports Authority can now permit containerised cargo to enter Australia via Port Hedland in Western Australia thanks to a biosecurity certification update.

The new cargo and biosecurity treatment services include a commonwealth approved wash bay, opening the Pilbara port to further international arrivals.

This puts the Pilbara Ports Authority’s legislative biosecurity requirements in line with the Commonwealth Biosecurity Act 2015 due to improved inspection and fumigation processes.

The Biosecurity Act controls the places vessels with certain products can moor to protect human and environmental health.

To be compliant with this act, the Pilbara Ports Authority set out a high level of sanitary protection and acceptable levels of monitoring and control of biosecurity risks.

In the past, international shipments have been sent to Fremantle Port then transported separately to mine sites in the Pilbara.

Now the Pilbara Ports Authority can form new maritime freight agreements with international customers, significantly slashing the amount of time trucks spend on the road between Fremantle and the Pilbara.

Direct freight services to Port Hedland will also cut the environmental impact of shipping then delivering freight by road through reduced fuel usage and carbon emissions.

Western Australian Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan said direct international maritime services into the Pilbara would remove restraints on doing international business in the key mining region.

“This signals the beginning of a new wave of economic activity for the people of Port Hedland and the wider Pilbara region.

“Direct shipping into the Pilbara avoids the need to truck containerised cargo up from Perth, reducing logistical costs and limitations to business opportunities while creating new local job opportunities in the region.”

Pilbara Ports Authority chief executive Roger Johnston added that the new biosecurity certification at Port Hedland gives importers certainty of its products entering Australia safely via the Pilbara.

“Pilbara Ports Authority is pleased to be facilitating direct freight shipments as a result of upgrades to our port’s biosecurity facilities,” Johnston said.