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12/12/2019 10:39 AM

A conversation with Port Authority CEO Philip Holliday

Captain Philip Holliday talks about his career in the maritime industry and his new role leading Port Authority of NSW as CEO.

From a 16-year-old cadet to master mariner and Sydney harbour master, Captain Philip Holliday has a held a long and successful career in maritime.

Now, newly appointed as CEO at Port Authority of New South Wales, Philip will lead teams across some of the most economically significant ports in Australia.

Here’s Philip on his experience in the industry, his new role and the future of the ports of New South Wales.

Image: Philip Holliday has been announced as Port Authority CEO
after eight years as Sydney habour master

What drives your passion for the maritime industry?

“The maritime industry has everything anybody could want in a career, great people, great opportunities and real purpose. Throughout my career I have benefited from meeting a diverse range of characters, seeing amazing sights and playing my part in delivering positive results and hence my continued passion for the industry.”

Your maritime career began in the UK. What brought you to Australia and NSW?

“As a mariner, you have to be a bit of an adventurer. When the opportunity arose to work in the best harbour in the world, my family and I took no convincing that it was the right thing to do.”

What are the highlights of your eight years as Sydney harbour master?

“A clear highlight was playing my part contributing to the establishment of Port Authority in 2014 (following the amalgamation of NSW’s three former port corporations). This is something that I am immensely proud of and now I’m looking forward to leading the team and building upon the work already done.

“As for specific highlights, overseeing the Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review in 2013, P&O’s Five Cruise Ship Spectacular in 2015, every New Year’s Eve and Australia Day and responding to a few storm-related events are all very memorable.”

What experience will you bring to the CEO role?

“I’ve been a part of Port Authority since its inception; I know the people, I understand the issues and I recognise the opportunities. My aim is to ensure that everybody working for Port Authority can be the best they can be. And by doing so, together we can deliver a safe and prosperous future for the ports of NSW.”

Image: Philip will lead Port Authority across six ports in NSW: Sydney Harbour, Port Botany, Newcastle Harbour, Port Kembla, Eden and Yamba.

What are you immediate and longer-term goals for Port Authority?

“Port Authority is already a great corporation and I’m delighted to be able to lead the team that will make it even better. Ensuring we recognise our customers while balancing the needs of the ports and the communities that live near them is integral to us.

“Our attention will be on delivering excellent customer service, working more closely with the communities in which we operate, embracing technology to deliver modern operational excellence, and leading in diversity and sustainability in all that we do.

“These actions combined will help to grow us as a connected and cohesive corporation across our six ports. These reinvigorated key drivers will be plugged into our decision making and, with this clear vision, I look forward to continue building our capabilities.”

What are the strengths of the Australian maritime sector right now?

“Ninety-nine per cent of Australia’s trade is shipped through its ports, while the ever-growing cruise industry contributes $5.2B to our economy. And there is so much more potential to develop the ‘blue highway’.

“For instance, developing the multi-user facility on Sydney’s Glebe Island will provide the opportunity to remove around 1,000 to 1,500 truck movements from the road every time a single ship arrives.

“These are great statistics that highlight the value the maritime sector brings to our economy and environment.

“As long as we continue to respect our customers and communities, there is a clear long-term and sustainable future for the maritime sector.”

What are the key improvements the sector should focus on in the next few years?

“It is important that we maintain our focus on safety, that we look for further improvements in minimising/eliminating environmental impacts and that we embrace – and in our case lead – the changes that will arise through the increased use of technology.

“I am confident that the industry, and more specifically Port Authority, is well placed for the challenges and the opportunities of the future and I look forward to leading the team that will deliver safe and prosperous operations for our State.”

Read more about Philip Holliday’s appointment as Port Authority CEO


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