The State Government has initiated a post-implementation review of the Southern Ports Authority amalgamation.
The former Albany, Bunbury and Esperance port authorities were merged to form the Southern Ports Authority in October 2014 as part of the first tranche of port governance reforms.
Nearly three years after the amalgamation, the review will broadly consider the performance of the relevant ports before and after amalgamation.
It will examine to what extent the expected benefits of amalgamation have been achieved, whether original concerns about the merger have been justified and if further changes are required for the future operation of the ports.
A working group, chaired by Agricultural Region MLC Laurie Graham, will provide a report with findings and recommendations to the Minister for Transport by December 2017.
The group will also include representatives from the Department of Transport and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.
The group will engage with various stakeholders, including employees, port users and local governments, in coming months.
Comments from Transport Minister Rita Saffioti:
"Now that nearly three years have passed, it is time to conduct a post-implementation review to evaluate what benefits have been achieved as a result of the amalgamation.
"The purpose of the review is to evaluate the outcomes of amalgamating the Albany, Bunbury and Esperance port authorities to form Southern Ports.
"It's clear to me from my travels in the South-West, Great Southern and Goldfields-Esperance regions in the past couple of years that people hold a range of views about the success or otherwise of the amalgamation, and whether it has been good for the regions.
"I am looking forward to receiving an independent analysis of the facts.
"The working group will go into the process with an open mind and will present their findings to Government towards the end of the year."