Three images form this banner. Image one: cargo ship with tug boat beside it, image two: port full of shipping containers, image three: ship docked at port.

The efficiency of Australia's shipping industry, ports and the links to them, on both land and sea-sides, is critical for our national economy.

As an island nation, we rely on shipping for both international trade and domestic freight movements (coastal trading). Our major ports and related infrastructure provide the key locations for supply chain activities servicing both bulk and container facilities.

The private sector is responsible for port operations and investment, with the regulatory framework set by government. State and territory governments are responsible for land use planning and controls, including for ports, their adjacent land areas and connecting transport systems. Local governments also make decisions that affect ports, such as on planning requirements and local road access. State or territory governments have historically owned port authorities; however, there is a trend toward privatising these assets on a long-term lease basis.

The Australian Government is responsible for environmental assessment of port developments where matters of national environmental significance are concerned, safety and security matters, customs, and implementing Australia's international maritime obligations for ports.

We work closely with states, territories and industry on initiatives to unlock the full potential of our ports and to strengthen these vital links in our transport network. These initiatives include an emphasis on the long-term planning of port infrastructure, supply chain visibility and the mapping of key freight routes that connect the nationally significant places for freight.