Westport In The Media

See Westport's latest news below.

See Westport's latest news below.

  • I'M FOR NOTHING - Mayor against Roe 8 AND Kwinana, The West Australian 23/8/2019

    4 months ago
    Bp



  • Why Building an Outer Harbour Immediately would be Premature, Mayor Brad Pettitt's blog 22/8/2019

    4 months ago
    Bp

    As Westport revealed its short-list for future port options in the last week, I have become increasingly concerned that the State Government may be leaning towards supporting the option of moving all container operations from Fremantle Ports to Kwinana sooner rather than later.

    While, I have been broadly impressed with the Westport process and its attempts to be transparent, evidenced-based and forward thinking, I am concerned that a shift to Kwinana would be premature and based on inadequate assumptions. Let me explain.

    The Fremantle Inner Harbour is currently handling around 790,000 TEU (containers) a year, but there is good evidence...

    As Westport revealed its short-list for future port options in the last week, I have become increasingly concerned that the State Government may be leaning towards supporting the option of moving all container operations from Fremantle Ports to Kwinana sooner rather than later.

    While, I have been broadly impressed with the Westport process and its attempts to be transparent, evidenced-based and forward thinking, I am concerned that a shift to Kwinana would be premature and based on inadequate assumptions. Let me explain.

    The Fremantle Inner Harbour is currently handling around 790,000 TEU (containers) a year, but there is good evidence to suggest that it could handle 2.1 million TEU without requiring any major works to the port itself. It would, however, require upgrades to the transport network and operations.

    Westport, however, is planning for a port that can handle between 3.8 million TEU and 5.4 million TEU by 2068 – a capacity not required until well in the future.

    In other words, the High St upgrade (due to start shortly) and an increase in freight on rail “will see the port and transport network functioning adequately until the middle on the 2030s”, as Gareth Parker reports in the Sunday Times.

    Parker goes on to say: “… what is clear is that the Fremantle Port will serve Perth’s needs for at least the next two decades. A new port will take a decade to plan and build so by all means preserve options further south beyond that timeframe, but to build it earlier will be a waste of taxpayers capital”

    For the first time in a while, I’m agreeing with Gareth.

    There are a few other reasons that the Westport taskforce might be over-estimating the level and speed of growth of container/TEU numbers, truck movements and hence the urgency around timing for the construction of an outer harbour.

    The first is around Westport’s projected consumption per capita. At the moment there is around 1 TEU for every 2.9 people in Perth or 0.35 TEU per person per year. This has been the average for the last decade. Westport is predicting that this figure is going to radically change over the next 40 years, jumping to 1.1 TEU’s per person per year or around three times the current level of consumption per person. This extreme jump in imported consumption sounds both highly unlikely and highly undesirable.

    A second point is that an increase in containers through Fremantle Port does not necessarily mean an increase in truck movements. Over the last five years, while the number of containers/TEUs through the Fremantle Port has risen, the number of truck movements has not. This is because there have been less trucks running empty in one direction and a more efficient use of the network. More than 20% of containers are now freighted on trains, further reducing the movement of trucks.

    The re-building of the Fremantle Traffic Bridge to include a dedicated rail line for freight trains will enable even more freight on rail during daylight hours. A target of 30% is well within reach, provided we see an investment of new rail stock that can run more quietly through Fremantle and Cockburn.

    The Fremantle Council has been consistent in its support for both the maintenance of a working container port in Fremantle, whilst planning for an outer harbour in the long-term. But, as the stats above demonstrate, there is no need to rush into making a one of Perth’s biggest ever infrastructure investments.

    It makes more sense for port infrastructure investments to be broken down into smaller fragments that can be delivered in the short-term. An upgraded High Street and dedicated freight rail line over the Swan River are important investments to which the State Government is committed.

    Next steps could include a focus on a more efficient use of our current freight network so that quieter, cleaner trucks run fully loaded and more frequently in off-peak hours.

    We would also like to see progress on bigger investments, such as the shifting of RORO cars and scrap metal off Victoria Quay, allowing more of this area to be opened up to opportunities for tourists and locals.

    All of these actions would extend the life of Fremantle’s inner harbour, which has plenty of years in it yet.



  • Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt accused of hypocrisy for opposing ‘premature construction’ of outer harbour in Cockburn Sound, The West Australian 23/8/2019

    4 months ago
    The west

    Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt has been accused of hypocrisy after he backed a contentious petition opposing the “premature construction” of a new harbour in Cockburn Sound.

    Dr Pettitt’s support for the petition came despite his long history of opposition to the Roe Highway extension, which is designed to boost operations at Fremantle Port.

    Dr Pettitt — touted as a future Greens MP — was among 2500 signatories to a petition organised by the “Fish Army”, calling on Parliament to oppose building a new port until Fremantle Port had reached “full capacity”.

    The Fish Army has links to the Maritime Union...

    Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt has been accused of hypocrisy after he backed a contentious petition opposing the “premature construction” of a new harbour in Cockburn Sound.

    Dr Pettitt’s support for the petition came despite his long history of opposition to the Roe Highway extension, which is designed to boost operations at Fremantle Port.

    Dr Pettitt — touted as a future Greens MP — was among 2500 signatories to a petition organised by the “Fish Army”, calling on Parliament to oppose building a new port until Fremantle Port had reached “full capacity”.

    The Fish Army has links to the Maritime Union of Australia, which is also campaigning against an outer harbour.

    The Fish Army have established a so-called “direct branch” inside WA Labor and claim they will have the numbers next year to have a say on electing Labor parliamentary candidates.

    Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan pointed out the Greens went to the last election supporting an outer harbour.

    “We would be expecting a modicum of consistency from the Greens,” Ms MacTiernan said.

    She said the Greens were fierce opponents of Roe 8 and 9 because of the damage it would have done to wetlands and warned they could not oppose both the highway extension and an alternative to the Fremantle Port.

    In a statement in 2017, Greens Upper House MP Lynn MacLaren said seagrass in Cockburn Sound had to be protected — but the sound’s healthiest seagrass beds were south of Cockburn Sound at Mangles Bay and on the east side of Garden Island — not on the Kwinana industrial strip.

    City of Melville mayor Russell Aubrey said the Fremantle council’s stance was incongruous.

    “On one hand they don’t want to build Roe 8 and 9 and on the other hand environmentally they’re against the outer harbour.

    “To be not supporting the outer harbour without supporting Roe 8 and 9 makes no sense.”

    MUA's Ben Lawver, petitioner Alan Nelson, Fish Army's Mike Pritchard and small business owner Tim Barlow pictured at State Parliament.Picture: The West Australian, Danella Bevis.

    Mr Aubrey said expanding Leach Highway, which is one option in the Westport Taskforce’s short-list of future port development, would have a negative impact on Melville.

    “For me it’s all about building Roe Highway and the (McGowan) Government getting its head around it as the best option for freight and the community,” he said.

    Dr Pettitt, pictured, said the petition did not oppose the construction of an outer harbour at Kwinana — but opposed the premature construction of an outer harbour.

    “That is an important distinction to make,” the mayor said in a statement.

    He said Fremantle Council had been consistent in its support for both a working port in Fremantle and for long-term planning for an outer harbour.

    “This does not need to be a black or white choice between the moving the entire container load to Kwinana or building the Perth Freight Link,” Dr Pettitt said.

    Dr Pettit said with some smart investments Fremantle Port had capacity to expand without increasing its impact on the local community.

    Shadow transport minister Libby Mettam said if Dr Pettitt was opposed to the outer harbour he should support the extension of Roe 8 and 9.

    “It’s great to see Brad Pettitt on board,” Ms Mettam said.


  • Port plan pushback begins with petition to go before WA Parliament, Watoday 22/8/2019

    4 months ago
    Wa today

    By Cameron Myles

    Pushback to plans for a new port in Kwinana has begun amid concerns over the environmental impact on Cockburn Sound and debate on just when the current container port in Fremantle will hit its capacity.

    A petition of more than 2500 signatures in opposition to the plans, outlined in the Westport Taskforce’s long-awaited shortlist last week, was collected by the Maritime Union of Australia’s WA branch and due to be tabled in Parliament on Thursday morning by Labor North Metro MLC Martin Pritchard.

    Westport’s shortlist of five preferred options for the future of WA ports has...

    By Cameron Myles

    Pushback to plans for a new port in Kwinana has begun amid concerns over the environmental impact on Cockburn Sound and debate on just when the current container port in Fremantle will hit its capacity.

    A petition of more than 2500 signatures in opposition to the plans, outlined in the Westport Taskforce’s long-awaited shortlist last week, was collected by the Maritime Union of Australia’s WA branch and due to be tabled in Parliament on Thursday morning by Labor North Metro MLC Martin Pritchard.

    Westport’s shortlist of five preferred options for the future of WA ports has drawn flak for ruling out any possibility of keeping Fremantle as the only container port in the state, instead proposing three different designs for a standalone container port in Kwinana and two outlining a system where container trade is shared between Freo and Kwinana.

    The taskforce also didn’t consider Roe 8/9 in its studies, noting early the scuppered corridor wasn’t current government policy, but in announcing the five preferred options, Westport claimed even with the inclusion of the contentious road plans Fremantle would still not have made the shortlist.

    MUA WA deputy secretary Adrian Evans said the union was “as shocked as the rest of the community” at the prospect Fremantle could lose its identity and “130 years of history”.

    “As members of the Westport reference group we also have serious concerns about the process that led to this outcome and are seeking answers,” he said.

    Fremantle Port is believed to have a capacity of 2.1 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) a year, but when WA's container trade is set to hit that number is subject to debate.

    Westport forecast a container load of 3.8 million TEU for Perth in 50 years' time, using an annual container growth figure of 3.25 per cent.

    Fremantle currently handles about 700,000 TEU, but questions over how long we've got before capacity have swirled for years; in 2007 a press release from Alannah MacTiernan – then planning and infrastructure minister in the Carpenter government – claimed Freo's "optimal capacity" would be reached by 2015.

    The MUA believes freight efficiencies could handle a substantial increase in TEUs at Fremantle even without road infrastructure upgrades, and it's too soon to lock in plans for a new container port in Kwinana.

    There are also concerns over the impact on Cockburn Sound, with the state’s peak fishing body Recfishwest in a Facebook post declaring it had “serious concerns” environmental considerations of a new port had been overlooked.

    “Our position on this has not changed – critical pink snapper spawning habitat must be protected and family fishing fun must not be compromised,” the post read.

    MUA organiser Ben Lawver said the union’s members were a part of the community who enjoyed Cockburn Sound, and held concerns for the thousands of jobs in Fremantle the working port currently supported.

    “When experts say publicly that Fremantle could comfortable handle trade volumes for a city the size of Sydney – we have to question the process that excludes this option from consideration,” he said.

    In a comment piece published on WAtoday on Monday, Westport independent chair Nicole Lockwood said the strengths of the Kwinana port options were “numerous”.

    “Given its location in Perth’s strategic industrial estate, existing buffers provide protection from residential development, limiting social impacts,” Ms Lockwood said.

    “The extensive land available at Latitude 32 and the nearby industrial estates provide a unique opportunity for businesses to co-locate adjacent to the port.

    “Finally, the Kwinana options have the ability to grow over time and can be designed and built with the latest in sustainability and climate resilience expertise.

  • Time for a backflip, The West Australian 17/8/2019

    4 months ago
    The west

    By Josh Zimmerman

    The State’s peak business body believes Roe 8 has become a “political football” and has urged the McGowan Government to refer the project to Infrastructure WA for independent assessment.

    Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has joined forces with the Western Roads Federation to issue the demand after a Westport Taskforce report failed to consider the effect Perth Freight Link would have on the lifespan of Fremantle Port.

    CCCIWA, which has long supported building Roe 8 and 9, said politics had prevented a fair assessment of the project and a “circuit-breaker” was required.

    The divisive road...

    By Josh Zimmerman

    The State’s peak business body believes Roe 8 has become a “political football” and has urged the McGowan Government to refer the project to Infrastructure WA for independent assessment.

    Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has joined forces with the Western Roads Federation to issue the demand after a Westport Taskforce report failed to consider the effect Perth Freight Link would have on the lifespan of Fremantle Port.

    CCCIWA, which has long supported building Roe 8 and 9, said politics had prevented a fair assessment of the project and a “circuit-breaker” was required.

    The divisive road through the Beeliar wetlands was subject to fierce protests on environmental grounds when the former Barnett government tried to rush through its construction in the months leading up to the 2017 State election.

    One of Labor’s key election promises was shelving Roe 8 and the Government is trying to permanently kill off the project in Parliament by deleting the reserve from future road planning schemes.

    “That is why Infrastructure WA was established — to help take the politics out of how our State’s infrastructure needs are prioritised and support more robust decision-making,” chief executive Chris Rodwell said.

    Released on Thursday, the Westport report short-listed five options to meet WA’s future freight needs, all of which required building an outer harbour in Cockburn Sound.

    Three of the blueprints phase out the use of Fremantle Port completely, with constraints in the surrounding road and rail network highlighted as one of the key shortcomings of the existing facility.

    WRF chairman Craig Smith-Gander said congestion around Fremantle Port was predominantly a result of more passenger traffic rather than trucks and that road upgrades were still needed.

    “Our State can’t afford for infrastructure projects that support economic growth and job creation, like Roe 8 and 9, to be held back by politics,” he said.


  • New road for Roe 8, Weekend West 17/8/19

    4 months ago
    The west

    By Josh Zimmerman

    The State's peak business body believes Roe 8 has become a "political football" and has urged the McGowan Government to refer the project to Infrastructure WA for independent assessment.

    Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has joined forces with the Western Roads Federation to issue the demand after a Westport Taskforce report failed to consider the effect Perth Freight Link would have on the lifespan of Fremantle Port.

    CCCIWA, which has long supported building Roe 8 and 9, said politics had prevented a fair assessment of the project and a "circuit-breaker" was required.

    The divisive road...

    By Josh Zimmerman

    The State's peak business body believes Roe 8 has become a "political football" and has urged the McGowan Government to refer the project to Infrastructure WA for independent assessment.

    Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA has joined forces with the Western Roads Federation to issue the demand after a Westport Taskforce report failed to consider the effect Perth Freight Link would have on the lifespan of Fremantle Port.

    CCCIWA, which has long supported building Roe 8 and 9, said politics had prevented a fair assessment of the project and a "circuit-breaker" was required.

    The divisive road through the Beeliar wetlands was subject to fierce protests on environmental grounds when the former Barnett government tried to rush through its construction in the months leading up to the 2017 State election.

    One of Labor's key election promises was shelving Roe 8 and the Government is trying to permanently kill off the project in Parliament by deleting the reserve from future road planning schemes.

    "That is why Infrastructure WA was established - to help take the politics out of how our State's infrastructure needs are prioritised and support more robust decision-making," chief executive Chris Rodwell said.

    Released on Thursday, the Westport report short-listed five options to meet WA's future freight needs, all of which required building an outer harbour in Cockburn Sound.

    Three of the blueprints phase out the use of Fremantle Port completely, with constraints in the surrounding road and rail network highlighted as one of the key shortcomings of the existing facility.

    WRF chairman Craig SmithGander said congestion around Fremantle Port was predominantly a result of more passenger traffic rather than trucks and that road upgrades were still needed.

    "Our State can't afford for infrastructure projects that support economic growth and job creation, like Roe 8 and 9, to be held back by politics," he said.

  • Westport: WA Government has “hamstrung” its own enquiry, The West Australian 18/8/2019

    4 months ago
    The west

    By Gareth Parker

    When is an independent ports inquiry not an independent ports inquiry?

    When it’s politically hamstrung from the outset by the Government that commissioned it.

    This, unfortunately, is the charade of Westport, an incredibly detailed, incredibly expensive, and fatally flawed look at Perth and the South West’s future port needs.

    That’s not a criticism of Westport’s work, which comes at a price of $3.2 million to date with a further $10 million in the budget forward estimates, or its chair Nicole Lockwood, whose team has done good and useful work.

    It is just a plain-as-day statement of fact:...

    By Gareth Parker

    When is an independent ports inquiry not an independent ports inquiry?

    When it’s politically hamstrung from the outset by the Government that commissioned it.

    This, unfortunately, is the charade of Westport, an incredibly detailed, incredibly expensive, and fatally flawed look at Perth and the South West’s future port needs.

    That’s not a criticism of Westport’s work, which comes at a price of $3.2 million to date with a further $10 million in the budget forward estimates, or its chair Nicole Lockwood, whose team has done good and useful work.

    It is just a plain-as-day statement of fact: the inquiry was nobbled from the start, directed to exclude from its detailed projections and planning entirely the idea that Roe 8-9 – a critical missing road link to the port – would be built.

    Lockwood did not even try to sugar coat this reality when I spoke to her.

    “It was not part of the scope we are given,” she said.

    “We were given the opportunity to look at the whole (transport) network. One component of that (Roe 8/9) was not part of the picture. At the end of the day, that was the decision made on the basis of a strong community view that the Government decided was their agenda going forward.”

    Fremantle Port last year handled 770,000 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) and the working assumption since a planning exercise in 2014 has been that the harbour has the capacity for 2.1 million TEUs.

    Even that was a significant increase on the 1.4 million TEU maximum capacity that was assumed to be Fremantle’s cap when Labor was in power last decade and Alannah MacTiernan first put a new port at Kwinana on the agenda.

    Remarkably, Westport’s work extends this theoretical maximum capacity well out to 3.8 million TEUs, a radical increase, assuming infrastructure upgrades including dredging, infilling Rous Head and building a new breakwater on its ocean side. The constraint at Fremantle, Lockwood said, is not port capacity, but “very much about the road and rail connection”.

    Think about that. Fremantle Port is presently less than a quarter of its capacity. Yet the taskforce recommends what the Labor Government is already politically committed to: a new port at Kwinana.

    And Roe 8/9, a potential solution to the biggest constraint — the transport linkages — is off the table altogether.

    Labor has committed to a half-baked upgrade of High Street through the Fremantle Golf Course and and a new roundabout at the Stirling Highway intersection.

    It also has plans for a much-needed replacement for the Fremantle Traffic Bridge, which will include upgraded rail capacity.

    Lockwood says these upgrades alone, according to Westport’s analysis, will see the port and transport network functioning adequately until the middle of the 2030s, at which point the roads get full.

    Yet the base case for the modelling that recommends a Kwinana option is a port that will handle 3.8 million to 5.4 million containers, a massive five to seven times the existing container traffic volumes.

    It’s all a bit silly. What’s clear is that Fremantle Port will serve Perth’s needs for at least the next two decades.

    A new port takes a decade to plan and build so by all means preserve options further south beyond that timeframe, but to build it earlier will be a waste of taxpayers’ capital.

    We remember Ben Wyatt’s 2017 election-eve promise.

    “If we win in 2017 and we don’t get that (outer harbour) underway, I will resign,” he said.

    Expect an argument soon over the definition of “underway”.


  • Westport Taskforce report, ABC Radio Perth News 1pm 15/8/2019

    4 months ago
    Download
    Transcript

    NEWSREADER
    The State Opposition has dismissed a report into WA’s freight needs as deliberately and fatally flawed.
    A Government panel’s determined that a new port is needed and that Fremantle alone cannot cater for expected growth in demand. The Westport Taskforce has proposed five options, all of which involve a new port being constructed at Kwinana, and none of which include the Roe 8 road project.
    The Opposition’s transport spokeswoman Libby Mettam says that’s a mistake.

    LIBBY METTAM
    This report should be pretty concerning to a lot of people.
    Excluding Roe 8 could cost… $2.3billion in unfunded road projects,...

    Transcript

    NEWSREADER
    The State Opposition has dismissed a report into WA’s freight needs as deliberately and fatally flawed.
    A Government panel’s determined that a new port is needed and that Fremantle alone cannot cater for expected growth in demand. The Westport Taskforce has proposed five options, all of which involve a new port being constructed at Kwinana, and none of which include the Roe 8 road project.
    The Opposition’s transport spokeswoman Libby Mettam says that’s a mistake.

    LIBBY METTAM
    This report should be pretty concerning to a lot of people.
    Excluding Roe 8 could cost… $2.3billion in unfunded road projects, which includes… upgrading Leach Highway to a freeway standard.

  • Outer Harbour report ‘flawed’, The West Australian 16/8/2019

    4 months ago
    The west

    JOSH ZIMMERMAN

    A report recommending a new Outer Harbour in Kwinana is “fatally flawed” because it fails to examine the effect building Perth Freight Link will have on extending the life of Fremantle Port, shadow transport minister Libby Mettam says.

    The independent Westport Taskforce yesterday unveiled a short list ranking its five top options to meet WA’s future freight needs, with every one recommending building a new Outer Harbour. While Ms Mettam questioned the integrity of the process, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti seized on the report to declare the death knell had sounded for Roe 8.

    An initial long list...

    JOSH ZIMMERMAN

    A report recommending a new Outer Harbour in Kwinana is “fatally flawed” because it fails to examine the effect building Perth Freight Link will have on extending the life of Fremantle Port, shadow transport minister Libby Mettam says.

    The independent Westport Taskforce yesterday unveiled a short list ranking its five top options to meet WA’s future freight needs, with every one recommending building a new Outer Harbour. While Ms Mettam questioned the integrity of the process, Transport Minister Rita Saffioti seized on the report to declare the death knell had sounded for Roe 8.

    An initial long list of 25 options examined by Westport included two that retained all port facilities in Fremantle but both were ruled out based partly on the constraints of the surrounding road and rail network.

    “The report makes it clear — even with Perth Freight Link, the Fremantle Inner Harbour requires extensive, costly and disruptive transport network upgrades that will only prop it up a few extra years,” Ms Saffioti said.

    “From an economic analysis, Roe 8 and 9 is dead — the overwhelming evidence shows the strategic way forward is to invest in an Outer Harbour.” Ms Mettam said the failure to assess Roe 8 proved the short list was a bureaucratic exercise. She said the State was no closer to resolving its freight challenges.

    “The report states supply chain links are the greatest constraint to Fremantle Port and yet it will not consider what is understood to be a significant proposed road corridor being Roe 8 and 9,” she said.

    Two of the short-listed five options include the continued use of Fremantle Port — in conjunction with a new Outer Harbour. Under the remaining three scenarios the existing facility would be freed up for alternative uses, including redevelopment.

    The preferred option is a conventional land port and intermodal terminal in Kwinana capable of handling the forecast 3.8 million shipping containers.

  • New container port favoured for Perth, PORTSTRATEGY 15/8/2019

    4 months ago
    Capture

    A shortlist of five port and supply chain options to manage Perth's long-term freight requirements has been released with all options proposing a new container port.

    The Government of Western Australia said the assessments of the independent Westport Taskforce ranked 25 different options featuring the ports at Fremantle, Bunbury and Kwinana against each other. Three shortlisted options feature container operations - all of which are currently managed at Fremantle - being moved to a new port in Kwinana Outer Harbour. Two further options propose sharing the container-handling task between Fremantle and Kwinana, or transitioning over a longer period of time.

    ...

    A shortlist of five port and supply chain options to manage Perth's long-term freight requirements has been released with all options proposing a new container port.

    The Government of Western Australia said the assessments of the independent Westport Taskforce ranked 25 different options featuring the ports at Fremantle, Bunbury and Kwinana against each other. Three shortlisted options feature container operations - all of which are currently managed at Fremantle - being moved to a new port in Kwinana Outer Harbour. Two further options propose sharing the container-handling task between Fremantle and Kwinana, or transitioning over a longer period of time.

    Western Australia Ports Minister, Alannah MacTiernan, said: "The plan to build a second major port at Kwinana has existed since the Stephenson-Hepburn Plan back in the 1950s. This is not new thinking; the Outer Harbour port has been supported by both sides of Government for decades. Westport's work confirms that this remains the best option.”

    Fremantle rated poorly

    The shortlist features the options that were awarded the highest scores across a range of important criteria, including capital costs and social and environmental impacts.

    Several Fremantle-only options were assessed in Westport's process but rated poorly due to significant economic and social impediments. The government said the analysis reinforced that a standalone Fremantle Inner Harbour would not work in the medium to long-term, even with the Roe 8 and 9 road improvements, part of the now cancelled Perth Freight Link.

    Westport highlighted that even when factoring in a range of major road corridor upgrades, the Fremantle Inner Harbour's transport network will reach capacity by the mid-2030s.

    However, building a new port may take up to ten years to deliver, said the government.

    Westport also assessed four Bunbury options, but distance from Perth, high capital costs and port depth constraints prevented them from making the shortlist.