Port of Melbourne CEO steps down

Following a long and successful career in transport and infrastructure, Brendan Bourke, CEO of Port of Melbourne has announced his retirement.

Bourke, who joined the Port as CEO in 2016, just after the awarding of the 50 year port lease to the Port of Melbourne Group (PoM), will continue in his capacity as CEO until mid-November.

The deal involving a consortium of domestic and global funds comprised the Future Fund, QIC, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) and OMERS but attracted opposition as it included China’s sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corp.

Saul Cannon has been appointed as the new CEO and will start on 15 November 2021.

Cannon is currently the CFO at Toll Group and has extensive senior leadership and industry experience.

Since coming on board, Bourke, according to a media release issued by the Port of Melbourne, had led significant programs and projects including the Port Development Strategy that outlines how the port will adapt to growth over the next 30 years.

Under Mr Bourke’s leadership, PoM also delivered a port rail strategy that will provide a new on-port rail terminal to grow the volume of containers that move by rail, managed investments of over $370m and worked with many port stakeholders to ensure that the port remains the biggest container and general cargo port in Australia.

“Brendan has demonstrated outstanding commitment and leadership to PoM and I want to publicly thank Brendan for his service in ensuring the port continues to perform its essential role in facilitating trade and contributing to the State’s economy.” said PoM Chairman, John Stanhope.

Bourke was instrumental in improving organisational operations and strengthening the approach to safety by implementing the Port’s Integrated Management System which includes four ISO certifications covering: Asset Management, Environmental Management, Occupational Health and Safety, and Quality Management Systems.

Bourke also made staff engagement a priority, improving year-on-year through his leadership to receive recognition as a Top 10 Best Employer by leading human capital firm Kincentric. “I wish Brendan well in his retirement and am confident the Port and port freight supply chain community will continue to benefit from his valued leadership and achievements delivered over the last 5 years,” Stanhope said in the statement.