Ports legislation and policies

Find out more about Ports legislation and policies.

  Port Authorities Act 1999

The Port Authorities Act 1999 (WA) governs Western Australia's port authorities, covering their functions, responsibilities, concept of operations and related matters. Under the Act, the port authorities may operate as Government Trading Enterprises, with appropriate accountability to the State Government.

Prior to the passage of the Act, each port authority was established under its own individual legislation. This Act modernised and consolidated governance of all the ports under a single piece of legislation, providing the port authorities with greater autonomy while ensuring that Government retains suitable strategic controls and Ministerial directional powers.

Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Port Authorities Act 1999 (WA)

  Shipping and Pilotage Act 1967

The Shipping and Pilotage Act 1967 (WA) governs shipping and pilotage in and about ports, boat harbours and mooring control areas of the State.

A total of 9 ports and 13 commercial port facilities have been declared under the Act.

Apart from Derby and Wyndham, these ports are generally single user facilities operated by resource companies with limited guidance from the State Government, other than safety controls. However, these ports are expected to be progressively brought under the jurisdiction of relevant port authorities, after July 2014.

Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Shipping and Pilotage Act 1967 (WA)

Voluntary Guidelines for Landside Stevedore Charges

The National Transport Commission released National Voluntary Guidelines for Landside Stevedore Charges in early 2022. These guidelines, which were implemented in WA soon after their release, ensure consistency in the timing of notifications of changes to charges by stevedores to transport operators across all major Australian ports. 

The Department of Transport (DoT) is responsible for the implementation in WA, and the guidelines apply to the two stevedore companies operating at Fremantle Port (DP World and Patrick Terminals). 

The major principles of the national voluntary guidelines are as follows:

  • Stevedore landside charges will only be changed once per annum.
  • Stevedore companies will issue a Notice of Intention to DoT and industry 60 days prior to any proposed date of changes to an existing charge or implementing a new charge and a Final Confirmation Notice 30 days prior to the change implementation date.
  • DoT will publish the links to the notices on its website each year following notification by the stevedores.

Please see the table below for links and timelines for the current landside charges for DP World and Patrick Terminals in Fremantle.

For any enquires about the implementation of the guidelines in WA or to provide feedback, please contact stevedorechargesguidelines@transport.wa.gov.au

Other key principles outlined in the guidelines include: 

  • The Notice of Intention must be accompanied by detailed reasoning for the change, including all relevant supporting information or data.
  • Stevedore companies will receive feedback from DoT and the supply chain proponents on proposed changes, and where necessary, respond directly.

The full national voluntary guidelines can be found on the National Transport Commission website.

Current landside charges

Stevedore Notice of Intention 
(60 days prior to change in charge)
Final Confirmation Notice 
(30 days prior to change in charge) 
Effective date for change in charges 
DP World 

Issued 31 October 2023:

DP World PONDUS Fremantle

Issued 1 December 2023:

DP World Landside Charges Fremantle
1 January 2024
Patrick Terminals 

Issued 4 January 2024: 

Landside Charges Notice to Customers Notice of Intention

Terminal Landside Charge Fremantle

VBS Charges Fremantle

Storage and Ancillary Patrick Fremantle

Issued 2 February 2024:

Landside Charges Notice to Customers Final Notice

4 March 2024

  Environmental policies

Western Australia's ports are governed by State and Commonwealth legislation aimed at protecting the environment.

Ports are required to comply with environmental licences approved under the Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA) and provisions that require a port authority to manage the port environment are included in the Ports Authorities Act 1999 (WA).

The Department of Transport is the Hazard Management Agency for marine oil pollution incidents in Western Australian waters.

There are also a number of policies to manage sewage and other marine pollutants, and response to environmental incidents, in cooperation with the Department of Environment Regulation.

Environmental reporting

Port authorities are required to report any breaches of their environmental licences to the Minister for Transport and/or the Minister for Environment.

For further information, please download the Protocol for Reporting Environmental Breaches in Ports below.

Opens in a new window Department of the Environment
Opens in a new window Department of Justice: Environmental Protection Act 1986 (WA)

Handling of mineral concentrates in WA ports

The Department of Transport has developed guidelines on acceptable practices for the transport, handling and export of specified mineral concentrates through West Australian ports.

The purpose of this guide is to reduce the risk of impact of these materials on the environment and on public health.

It was developed in consultation with the Departments of Health, Environmental Protection Authority, Chamber of Minerals and Energy WA, Ports WA and ChemCentre.

Please download the guide below.

Opens in a new window Department of Health
Opens in a new window Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) WA

Marine parks and reserves

The State and Commonwealth Governments have designated particular zones in Western Australia's oceans to restrict certain shipping, mining and recreational activities that will affect marine flora and fauna from. This will reduce the impact on the marine environment.

State marine parks and Commonwealth marine reserves are managed by:

  • WA Department of Parks and Wildlife.
  • Federal Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities.
Opens in a new window Department of Parks and Wildlife
Opens in a new window Department of the Environment

  General policies and guidelines

  Ports related links

Page last updated: Fri Feb 9 2024 5:43:25 PM