Port plan by end of next year

Gareth McKnightSound Telegraph
An artists impression of what a new outer harbour at Kwinana may look like.
Camera IconAn artists impression of what a new outer harbour at Kwinana may look like. Credit: Southern Corridor Alliance

The potential for a new port in Kwinana has been on the agenda for the past six weeks, with more than 200 submissions made over a public consultation period.

The McGowan Government has committed to an outer harbour in Cockburn Sound, with the appointment of the Westport Taskforce to plan the project.

The taskforce has consulted with the relevant stakeholders and the public in relation to the project and has released a report rounding up its findings.

Based on the feedback, 10 research categories will now be pursued to help construct the Westport Strategy, with a report to be made to Planning Minister Rita Saffioti by the end of next year.

Ms Saffioti said the Labor Government was committed to public consultation throughout the project.

“There is clearly strong community interest in finding better solutions for WA’s freight and port-related transport issues,” she said.

Nicole Lockwood, who chairs the Westport Taskforce, said the group thought the people that would be affected by the recommendations should have a voice.

“Today we are publishing the inputs we received to ensure we are absolutely transparent about the feedback we have heard and will be considering, as we develop the strategy,” she said.

“I am meeting with interested stakeholders daily and will continue to engage with the community to ensure we get this planning right.”

Kwinana Industries Council chief executive Chris Oughton said a new port was “critically important”.

“The new port in Kwinana has been planned for by successive governments over the years, but sadly it seems to have been the politics of ports that have resulted in still no new port after 25 years of planning,” he said.

“The discussion about the new port in Kwinana is not based on the capacity of the inner harbour in Fremantle, it is about the ability of the State to grow its economic output through growth in business and the jobs that will be created.”

City of Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the port could be a catalyst for both regional and State investment opportunities.

“The outer harbour is the key to WA’s future economic resurgence and we have been impressed by the hard work of the Westport Taskforce in compiling the significant amount of feedback provided from the community, interest groups, stakeholders and government organisations to ensure that the report to the Minister will be inclusive and has covered all options comprehensively,” she said.

“The City of Kwinana is having significant input as a member of the Westport Reference Group. We have worked hard to bring all the affected local governments on our journey and we all recognise that this process will resolve many of the long term transport and freight issues in our respective areas which, as part of the expanded Westport terms of reference are being examined.

“The City hopes that with an expanded terms of reference the Government is still able to maintain focus on their original commitment to plan for an outer harbour in Kwinana.”

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