Big crowd at Freo forum on new harbour

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph

There was a packed house in Fremantle last Monday when a forum on the potential for an outer harbour in Kwinana was well received by a bumper audience.

Organised by the Western Harbours Alliance, Westport Taskforce chairwoman Nicole Lockwood was one of five speakers to present their vision for the project and answer questions from the gallery.

WHA chairwoman Kim Dravnieks said the event was a success and there was a growing train of thought that the harbour proposal in Cockburn Sound would become a reality.

“It was excellent, we had a packed house, in fact it was standing room only and there were a lot of questions afterwards,” she said. “Nicole spoke very well about the project. She accepted that there is a huge amount of information already available.

“We hope to have future conversations on refining deliverables and are hopeful that this is going to happen.”

Ms Dravnieks said there were still questions that needed answered but she was hopeful of real progress on the project by the time this State Government’s tenure was up in 2021.

“There is a lot of work to be done and a lot of questions to be answered but once people start thinking about it, those answers will unfold,” she said.

“This is so important for WA.

“I would love to see some really firm commitments on progressing and really looking at the depth of how this can actually help WA in the longer-term future — particularly around the economics.”

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams attended and said that with a diverse crowd interested in what the speakers had to say, the event was a “resounding success”.

“It was great to see such mature and robust discussion during the Q and A portion of the event, particularly a keen interest from many of the audience around the need to look at alternative development for the Rouse Head side of the current port in Fremantle as part of the planning process,” she said.

“The City of Kwinana has agreed to host a similar forum early next year and, given the growing interest in the Kwinana Outer Harbour project, I would anticipate it would be similarly well attended.”

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