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Southern Port’s profits power on: port’s record year in trade and community engagement

Holly PrenticeBunbury Herald
Southern Ports staff and stakeholders were invited to a dinner to discuss the year that’s been.
Camera IconSouthern Ports staff and stakeholders were invited to a dinner to discuss the year that’s been. Credit: Holly Prentice

Southern Ports announced a record year of profits during an end-of-year dinner at Dolphin Discovery Centre last week.

The port authority invited stakeholders and members of Bunbury City council to inform them how the port’s trade has been operating and how they plan to move forward next year.

Ben Sinclair of Bunge and Iain Robinson of Southern Ports.
Camera IconBen Sinclair of Bunge and Iain Robinson of Southern Ports. Credit: Holly Prentice

Southern Ports now operates the largest and third largest lithium export ports in the world, a key commodity in WA’s economy, with the port of Bunbury trading 1.5 million tonnes of the mineral this year.

The other highest export commodities for the ports were alumina, grain and iron ore, exporting 34.01 million tonnes of the goods.

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CEO Keith Wilks said the change in the ports this year has not just been through high trade volumes, but the emphasis on community matters as well.

“We’re not just about trade, we’re also about many other things including community engagement,” he said.

Southern Ports CEO Keith Wilks was thrilled with the progress the port authority made this year.
Camera IconSouthern Ports CEO Keith Wilks was thrilled with the progress the port authority made this year. Credit: Holly Prentice

A particular item of note was the success of Southern Ports inaugural partnership with Foodbank, through which 50,000 meals were delivered to those in need across the South West.

Their combined community efforts through Foodbank, as well as Leschenault nursery and a new scholarship program with Curtin University saw 89,000 people directly impacted by the port’s initiatives.

Mr Wilks said the universtiy scholarship will help regional students get a better education.

“Southern Ports is now contributing to a university student from either the Esperance region, Albany region or Bunbury region to go to Curtin University and we’ll support them through two ways, through reimbursement and ongoing employment throughout their studies,” he said.

“It’s really hard, especially nowadays, for regional students to cope with the cost of moving to Perth to study in higher education, and we want to contribute to that.”

One of the new initiatives the port is excited to get under way is the arrival of its new pilot vessel, which was announced earlier this year along with a competition to name the new boat.

This vessel’s name was chosen by the public as Wardan, a name referring to the Indigenous word for the waters off Wardandi country.

The ports are preparing for the naming ceremony of this vessel in the coming months..

City of Bunbury Deputy Mayor Tresslyn Smith, Mayor Jaysen Miguel, Cr Gabi Ghasseb and Rita Ghasseb.
Camera IconCity of Bunbury Deputy Mayor Tresslyn Smith, Mayor Jaysen Miguel, Cr Gabi Ghasseb and Rita Ghasseb. Credit: Holly Prentice

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