Westport In The Media

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See Westport's latest news below.

See Westport's latest news below.

  • The nine infrastructure projects vital to WA's recovery, The West Australian 8/7/2020

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    3 days ago

    A list of big-ticket infrastructure projects — creating more than 20,000 jobs during construction — will be critical to WA’s economic recovery after COVID-19.

    The pandemic-induced economic uncertainty has resulted in the need for “long-term integrated infrastructure planning”, according to Nicole Lockwood, independent chair of the Westport Taskforce.

    “At a time like this, that long-term lens and the ability to bring the whole system together is critical,” she said.

    “Infrastructure is an enabler for a range of different outcomes, one of the opportunities we have at the moment is to look at how all those pieces will fit together.” Continue reading

    A list of big-ticket infrastructure projects — creating more than 20,000 jobs during construction — will be critical to WA’s economic recovery after COVID-19.

    The pandemic-induced economic uncertainty has resulted in the need for “long-term integrated infrastructure planning”, according to Nicole Lockwood, independent chair of the Westport Taskforce.

    “At a time like this, that long-term lens and the ability to bring the whole system together is critical,” she said.

    “Infrastructure is an enabler for a range of different outcomes, one of the opportunities we have at the moment is to look at how all those pieces will fit together.” Continue reading

  • New reference panel to deliver Supply Chain Strategy, Infrastructure Magazine 26/6/2020

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    3 days ago

    A new Freight Industry Reference Panel has been formed to oversee the implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

    The Federal Government announced the panel’s membership on 24 June 2020. The panel is comprised of:

    • Mr John Fullerton, Chair
    • Ms Nicole Lockwood
    • Ms Sophie Finemore
    • Mr Peter Garske
    • Mr Brett Charlton

    The National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, developed by all Australian governments with extensive input from industry, lays out a 20-year plan showing how government and industry will work together to lift the nation’s freight networks’ performance. Continue reading

    A new Freight Industry Reference Panel has been formed to oversee the implementation of the National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.

    The Federal Government announced the panel’s membership on 24 June 2020. The panel is comprised of:

    • Mr John Fullerton, Chair
    • Ms Nicole Lockwood
    • Ms Sophie Finemore
    • Mr Peter Garske
    • Mr Brett Charlton

    The National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy, developed by all Australian governments with extensive input from industry, lays out a 20-year plan showing how government and industry will work together to lift the nation’s freight networks’ performance. Continue reading

  • Experts named to help with freight and supply chain strategy, Big Rigs 24/6/2020

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    3 days ago

    THE Australian Government has announced the membership of a new Freight Industry Reference Panel on behalf of the Transport and Infrastructure Council. Continue reading

    THE Australian Government has announced the membership of a new Freight Industry Reference Panel on behalf of the Transport and Infrastructure Council. Continue reading

  • Multiple Use Coastal Marine Managed Areas, Journal of Ocean Technology 19/6/2020

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    22 days ago

    A Fresh Approach to Cumulative Risk Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement.

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    A Fresh Approach to Cumulative Risk Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement.

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  • Mayors unite for cleaner freight, Mirage News 18/6/2020

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    3 days ago

    Local government leaders along the Fremantle Port freight link are banding together to call for road freight improvements for industry and community.

    The mayors of Fremantle, Melville and East Fremantle have put their collective support behind cleaner freight initiatives that will enable more efficient use of the road network by capping freight volumes and placing stricter controls on the types of trucks allowed to transport freight. Continue reading

    Local government leaders along the Fremantle Port freight link are banding together to call for road freight improvements for industry and community.

    The mayors of Fremantle, Melville and East Fremantle have put their collective support behind cleaner freight initiatives that will enable more efficient use of the road network by capping freight volumes and placing stricter controls on the types of trucks allowed to transport freight. Continue reading

  • Announcement on $4 billion port 'imminent', Business News 16/06/2020

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    25 days ago

    The state government is poised to reveal its $4 billion plan for a new port at Kwinana as it seeks to ramp up infrastructure projects to help kickstart the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

    Continue reading

    The state government is poised to reveal its $4 billion plan for a new port at Kwinana as it seeks to ramp up infrastructure projects to help kickstart the state’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

    Continue reading

  • Resources driving industrial rebound, Business News 16/03/2020

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    4 months ago


    Resources-related investment is helping Perth’s industrial land sector bounce back from a five-year downturn in investment.

    Industrial land developers say increased leasing activity and a rise in investment volumes are key indicators that the market has turned, with cautious optimism emerging that the sector can ride out the short-term shock of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Western Australia’s resources sector is largely behind the increased optimism, with forecasts by JLL and CBRE indicating investment activity is likely to gain momentum throughout 2020.

    Commercial agency CBRE has reported significant positivity in the sector, with demand for workshops increasing as fabrication and engineering groups...


    Resources-related investment is helping Perth’s industrial land sector bounce back from a five-year downturn in investment.

    Industrial land developers say increased leasing activity and a rise in investment volumes are key indicators that the market has turned, with cautious optimism emerging that the sector can ride out the short-term shock of the COVID-19 outbreak.

    Western Australia’s resources sector is largely behind the increased optimism, with forecasts by JLL and CBRE indicating investment activity is likely to gain momentum throughout 2020.

    Commercial agency CBRE has reported significant positivity in the sector, with demand for workshops increasing as fabrication and engineering groups expand to keep pace with an uptick in resources-sector contracting activity.

    CBRE's research identified around $50 billion in resources investment on which proponents are expected to make a final investment decision in 2020 or 2021, including Woodside's Scarborough and Browse LNG developments, as well as Perdaman's $4.5 billion proposed urea fertiliser plant on the Burrup Peninsula.

    On the investment side of the equation, JLL research showed there was $217 million worth of industrial land transactions in 2019 (for sales worth $10 million or more) and while that remains below the 10-year average of $364 million, the activity was significantly up on the 2016 to 2018 period.

    Industrial developer Linc Property’s Ben Lisle told Business News that enquiry at the company’s estates had been particularly strong to start 2020.

    “Certainly we have found that the mood and confidence has been good at the start of the year, despite the broader global uncertainty,” Mr Lisle said.

    “We have seen really good enquiry … and people starting to transact.”

    He said e-commerce and logistics companies were driving demand at Linc estates, with the upturn in mining and resources flowing on to small-scale fabrication and manufacturing.

    He said Linc’s two newest estates, the Roe Highway Logistics Park and the Tonkin Highway Logistics Park, would both likely be at capacity by the end of 2020.

    “We’ve been really happy with Roe Highway, and we’ve seen good takeup even though we launched into a relatively weak market,” Mr Lisle said.

    “We are more than 60 per cent done and we anticipate the project will be committed, if not completed, by the end of this year.

    “And it’s the same thing at Tonkin; we are more than 80 per cent committed there and we have seen a pretty strong start to the year.

    “Even through the COVID-19 uncertainty we are seeing people continue to want to transact, which is good.

    “But we are early into that real volatility now so we have to see how that plays through, I suspect it’s going to affect all of the asset classes for a while.

    “At the moment, all things considered, it all feels pretty good. But obviously no one is immune to the macro uncertainty.”

    Mr Lisle said once its Roe and Tonkin highway estates were complete, the group would concentrate its focus largely on developing 800 hectares of land in Middle Swan, Muchea and Bullsbrook.

    Linc acquired the land as part of the consortium that bought Midland Brick last year, which also features Fini Group and CFC Group subsidiary Birchmead.

    “Quite a few of the planning submissions around the surplus land have either been submitted or are about to be submitted,” Mr Lisle said.

    “It’s a combination of residential and then there is a portion that will stay industrial with the Midland Brick operations.

    “We are in the final stages of resolving the conditions precedent and proceeding with that.”

    In Perth’s southern suburbs, family-owned developer iParks Property Group, part of development and construction conglomerate Canci Group, has taken an early view on potential gains from the possible shift of WA’s main import-export port to the Kwinana area.

    The company owns around 236ha of industrial land across the state, with one of its flagship assets a 12ha parcel of land at DevelopmentWA’s Latitude32 precinct near Kwinana.

    iParks chief executive Tony Canci said the findings of the state government’s Westport Taskforce were creating optimism around the Kwinana area.

    “We have seen businesses wanting to be early movers and move down this way,” Mr Canci said.

    “Demand has improved and the businesses that are making those early decisions will benefit from it.

    “We made the decision to invest there five years ago, but I think Westport and the general increase in economic activity has improved the demand in that area.”


  • Drive to upgrade ports to allow for bigger ships, The Australian 26/02/2020

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    4 months ago
    Shipping container ports on Australia’s east coast need to be upgraded to accommodate the new breed of bigger, more efficient ships that increasingly dominate seaborne trade, Infrastructure Australia is warning.

    IA’s priority list for 2020, released on Wednesday, includes an initiative recommending port authorities in NSW, Victoria and Queensland follow the example of Western Australia and look to develop projects to expand the deep water ports of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, or look to develop new port locations.

    Globally, the capacity of container ships has expanded as companies look to become more efficient by hauling greater loads across the world’s...

    Shipping container ports on Australia’s east coast need to be upgraded to accommodate the new breed of bigger, more efficient ships that increasingly dominate seaborne trade, Infrastructure Australia is warning.

    IA’s priority list for 2020, released on Wednesday, includes an initiative recommending port authorities in NSW, Victoria and Queensland follow the example of Western Australia and look to develop projects to expand the deep water ports of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, or look to develop new port locations.

    Globally, the capacity of container ships has expanded as companies look to become more efficient by hauling greater loads across the world’s oceans. These ships are now capable of carrying 20,000 20-foot equivalent container units (TEUs).

    Sydney’s Botany Bay seaport is able to accommodate only ships of 10,000 TEUs, while the Port of
    Melbourne is limited to about 8000 TEUs. The IA report says that as a result, “Australia is unable to benefit from potential cost reductions and efficiency improvements because of container port constraints”.

    The inability to cater to this trend towards larger container ships means “we are missing opportunities”, IA chief executive Romilly Madew said.

    The Westport taskforce will look at Perth and southwest WA’s freight, trade and logistics requirements
    for the next 50-100 years, but “given the preference of cargo ships to make multiple stops on a route, a network of deep water ports will likely be required, rather than a single port at a given location,” the report says.

    “This incentivises shipping lines to provide larger vessels to service Australia and maximises potential economic efficiencies.”

    “We need to look at our ports, whether that’s channel deepening or the development of new locations,”
    Ms Madew said.

    She said that IA’s role was to identify the problem, and she hoped “the port authorities will come up with a solution".

  • Fremantle Inner Harbour - getting the job done, Business News 17/02/2020

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    4 months ago
    Nearly 125 years on, Fremantle’s Inner Harbour is still getting the job done for Western Australia as the State’s primary container port and a critical economic driver for the local economy.

    The harbour has, throughout its history, shown a capacity to transform itself at the right times to stay abreast of shipping trends and quickly adopt new technology.

    In December, the Australian Government’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics published its regular statistical report, Waterline, which benchmarks Australia’s top five container ports.

    Yet again, Fremantle was at the front or in the leading pack on many efficiency measures, including...

    Nearly 125 years on, Fremantle’s Inner Harbour is still getting the job done for Western Australia as the State’s primary container port and a critical economic driver for the local economy.

    The harbour has, throughout its history, shown a capacity to transform itself at the right times to stay abreast of shipping trends and quickly adopt new technology.

    In December, the Australian Government’s Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics published its regular statistical report, Waterline, which benchmarks Australia’s top five container ports.

    Yet again, Fremantle was at the front or in the leading pack on many efficiency measures, including recording Australia’s fastest truck turnaround time, the largest share of containers on rail and a very strong wharfside crane rate.

    It was no flash in the pan, as successive Waterline reports have consistently demonstrated Fremantle’s strengths, even though Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane handle larger volumes than the 788,000 containers (TEU) which went through Fremantle last year.

    It’s comforting for Chief Executive Officer Chris Leatt-Hayter who, despite witnessing an uncertain global trade environment in recent years, has reason to remain confident.

    “You can read what you want into statistics, but there’s no question that Fremantle is a very efficient container port and that’s important for port users and the State economy,” he said.

    Located adjacent to the city of Fremantle it has been important for the Inner Harbour to demonstrate its social licence credentials, not only in regard to its ship-handling and landside capabilities but, more importantly, the port’s capacity to sustain efficient and socially-acceptable freight links.

    Driving up its rail share to 22.2% of all containers handled meant Fremantle was, for the June quarter last year significantly ahead of every other Australian port, with Sydney the closest at 13.7%.

    “Twenty percent of containers on rail means 105,000 trucks a year off our roads,” Leatt-Hayter said.

    “Through strong State Government policy, innovative practices and technology, we think the rail share can grow. We know too that rail is efficient, safer and preferred by the community.”

    Trucks had become more efficient too

    “In 2018, the number of trucks was about the same as in 2010 even though container trade increased 38 per cent in that period, so truck numbers have been held down. This is the result of proactive logistics improvements, but there are more efficiencies there to be had.”

    Annually, Fremantle Ports surveys the community and last year found support for the ongoing operation of the inner harbour as a working port continues to be strong at 78%. Nearly nine out of 10 local residents
    support the use of rail over trucks for containers.

    Continuing to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the Inner Harbour is a major focus for the organisation. This is because any new container facilities that might be developed into the future arising from the work of the Westport Taskforce are some time off.

    “Westport is important in terms of charting future options for container operations in WA and we’ve been a proactive contributor to the Westport process,” he said.

    “It’s a highly complex planning task and vital to identifying the optimum solutions for future development of port facilities in the metropolitan area for the longer term,” Leatt-Hayter said.

    In 2019, Fremantle Ports has also worked its way through complex negotiations for new container terminal leases and the operation of its North Quay Rail Terminal. A rail terminal deal was successfully achieved, but North Quay stevedoring leases will shortly be finalised.

    “The completion of the container terminal leases is a priority for us as it will provide certainty to industry and port users about container operations in Western Australia over the period until the availability of any
    new container facilities”

  • Freight network upgrades a complex priority, Business News 17/02/2020

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    4 months ago
    Ports and transport
    Freight network upgrades a complex priority
    A more efficient freight network is a key priority for the state government, but upgrading the status quo requires a big spend and some complex solutions.

    THE bushfires that tore through the south-east of the state at the beginning of 2020 neatly illustrate the significant challenges involved with maintaining Western Australia’s freight network.

    Road trains were parked, travellers were left stranded and motorists were turned around as the only link to the eastern states, Eyre Highway, was closed for 12 days.

    While the efforts of firefighters ensured the situation did not...

    Ports and transport
    Freight network upgrades a complex priority
    A more efficient freight network is a key priority for the state government, but upgrading the status quo requires a big spend and some complex solutions.

    THE bushfires that tore through the south-east of the state at the beginning of 2020 neatly illustrate the significant challenges involved with maintaining Western Australia’s freight network.

    Road trains were parked, travellers were left stranded and motorists were turned around as the only link to the eastern states, Eyre Highway, was closed for 12 days.

    While the efforts of firefighters ensured the situation did not result in long-term major consequence, Freight and Logistics Council of WA chair Nicole Lockwood said the bushfire emergency highlighted the fragility of the state’s connections to the rest of the country. “We are, particularly for heavy vehicles, totally reliant on where those roads exist,” Ms Lockwood told Business News.

    “If we look at the cost of the infrastructure we already have and the size and scale of the state and our ability to connect to the other states, it isn’t practical to build alternative routes to avoid these things.

    “But it is important to make sure that when we do build, they are built with resilience in mind.

    “Maybe that changes the design and maybe that changes the construction method.

    It’s something that potentially will be given a little bit more thought in the wake of what has happened.”

    Metronet may be the big-ticket item on the state government’s agenda, but Premier Mark McGowan and his team are also investing heavily to upgrade road and freight rail networks around WA, with more efficient freight among the top priorities.

    At Fremantle Port, the government is attempting to move past the divisive Roe 8 debate with its dual-pronged strategy to improve access to Fremantle Port, despite efforts from the state Liberal Party to put the issue firmly back on the agenda ahead of next year’s election.

    Midway through last year, the state government announced it had reached its target for more than 20 per cent of container freight to be taken to Fremantle Port by rail in 2018-19, with a subsidy increase resulting in a 30 per cent rise in the number of containers travelling to the port by train.

    “The freight-on-rail policy is really about getting more out of the current assets, which I think everyone will agree is the right way to use our infrastructure,” Ms Lockwood said.

    On the roads, Georgiou Group recently began work to upgrade a crucial intersection for port access: the often-congested junction of Stirling Highway and High Street.

    A new roundabout is being installed to improve traffic flow, carefully designed to lessen the risk of truck rollovers, part of a $118 million suite of works that started in January.

    Jointly funded by the state and federal governments, the High Street upgrade is expected to create about 700 jobs.

    Closer to the port, the state government committed to a $230 million upgrade of rail access in its 2019 budget, with plans in motion to rebuild the ageing Fremantle Traffic Bridge.

    The new bridge was listed as a national priority by Infrastructure Australia, with the upgrade to allow freight trains to cross the river at the same time as passenger rail.

    In addition to the current upgrades, the state government is considering its options around whether to keep Fremantle as WA’s main import-export terminal.

    Ms Lockwood also heads up the Westport Taskforce, which was established in 2017 to determine a plan to best manage freight demands for the next 50 years.

    In August last year the taskforce unveiled a shortlist comprising three options for a new port at Kwinana, and two shared Kwinana-Fremantle options.

    Ms Lockwood said the taskforce was finalising its assessment of the shortlist and preparing to provide a suite of recommendations to the state government on its next steps.

    “From our point of view, we have had a very clear focus around the freight network, so we have come up with the options that we think, over the long term, provide the best reliability for freight growth, mindful of the scale of investment and how long that investment is going to create capacity for,” she said.

    Ms Lockwood said the Westport Taskforce had focused its efforts on understanding the impacts of each of its options on the local environment and the communities surrounding the proposed development areas.

    “In doing the comparative analysis, we’ve removed the options that will have the most impact, and we’ve been left with the options we think are now manageable in terms of impact,” she said.

    “If the government proceeds to the next stage, the work needs to be done on the approval itself, but also working through opportunities to build resilience in that area and really start to understand how that ecosystem works and how the community wants to interact with that environment going forward, so that the two uses can co-exist.

    “Any build, it doesn’t matter what you’re building, there is an impact.

    “That’s just the reality, you are changing the environment.

    “So we have to be upfront about that and we can’t say we won’t do anything. We will make a change.

    “What we are trying to ensure is that the change, overall, doesn’t make it any worse.”

    Fremantle, however, is not the only focus of state government plans to upgrade Perth’s freight transport networks.

    Main Roads Western Australia’s road network upgrades are being undertaken on a priority basis, with the eastern freight corridor a key congestion hotspot being addressed.

    Data from the BNiQ projects list shows Tonkin Highway upgrades are among the highest infrastructure spends for the state government, with three separate projects collectively costing more than $1 billion (see table).

    Other major projects include the $852 million Bunbury Outer Ring Road, more than $600 million worth of upgrades to the Great Northern Highway, and a $237 million bridge to link Armadale and North Lake roads.

    Civil Contractors Federation WA chief executive Andy Graham said the portfolio of transport works had been a much-needed boost for a local construction sector still reeling from the slowdown in
    resources-based building works.

    However, Mr Graham said more could be done to ensure local contractors secured a fair share of the contracts on offer, rather than multinational firms.

    “In WA we are blessed with amazing local capacity; our local contractors are world-class, but we do see the need for government contracts to be structured with that local capacity in mind so the locals get a fair go,” Mr Graham told Business News.

    “It’s more of a financial capacity issue. There is very little that the locals can’t do, major tunnelling might be a notable exception, but generally it’s not a question of
    capability, it’s more a question of financial capacity.

    “The local contractors have the capability but typically they don’t have the balance sheet to handle billion dollar-plus contracts.”

    Mr Graham said there were several big-ticket opportunities he considered perfect for de-bundling to ensure local participation, including the $275 million Bindoon Bypass on Great Northern Highway, and the $415 million initiative to remove level crossings along the Midland and Armadale passenger rail lines.

    “There are often options where an infrastructure project can be quite neatly de-bundled to give more opportunity for the locals,” he said.

    “Probably the pressure point for government comes when inevitably you have more contracts, you need more contract managers, and there is an issue with internal resources where Main Roads and PTA as the major transport authorities have got huge budgets to spend, but haven’t really got the internal capacity they need.

    “We understand with the budget repair mantra there has been pressure to keep a cap on the public service, but in this regard, spending more money on having some more project management and contract management capacity within government we think would have a huge payoff for a sustainable industry locally.”

    Table
    WA’S BIGGEST ROAD AND FREIGHT RAIL PROJECTS
    $852m: Bunbury Outer Ring Road
    $505m: Tonkin Highway stage 3
    $366m: Tonkin Highway interchanges
    $290m: Tonkin Highway Gap
    $344m: Great Northern Highway upgrade
    $275m: Bindoon Bypass
    $237m: Armadale to North Lake Road Bridge
    $230m: Fremantle Traffic Bridge
    $215m: Mitchell Freeway Extension
    $180m: Roe Highway to Great Eastern Highway upgrade