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New chief executive for Southern Ports Authority

Western Australia’s Ports Minister Rita Saffioti has announced Keith Wilks as the new chief executive of Southern Ports Authority.

Wilks will take over from retiring CEO Steve Lewis on 1 May 2023.

Having spent more than 27 years in the ports and maritime sectors, he has been the chief operating officer at Southern Ports Authority since January 2020 and has previously held senior roles at the Port of Newcastle and Svitzer.

Minister Saffioti congratulated Keith Wilks on his appointment.

“Mr Wilks brings valuable operational experience in leading complex port operations and proven strategic and leadership skills to the role,” she said.

“Mr Wilks’ considerable expertise positions him well to lead Southern Ports Authority during this period of sustained growth, which also includes a record $59 million asset renewal program that will build and create future opportunities for Western Australia.”

“Southern Ports Authority has a vital role in gearing our state for trade and investment and I look forward to working closely with Mr Wilks to realise this potential,” said Minister Saffioti.

“I would also like to thank Steve Lewis for leading Southern Ports Authority for the past four years, particularly his achievements in building the capacity and capability of our ports and the adoption of emerging technologies.”

Southern Ports

Southern Ports is the custodian of the three ‘gateway’ ports of Albany, Bunbury and Esperance, connecting Western Australia to the world.

Port of Albany, located 400 kilometres south of Perth, supports exports including grain, woodchips, silica sand and imports including fertiliser and fuel.

Port of Bunbury is located 175 kilometres south of Perth. Exports include alumina, woodchips, mineral sands, spodumene and silica sand and imports include caustic soda and mineral sands.

The Port of Esperance is located approximately 600 kilometres east-southeast of Perth. Exports include nickel, iron ore and grain, and imports include fuel and fertiliser.

The three ports had a combined facilitated trade of more than 36 million tonnes in the 2022 financial year.


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