Link op­po­nent to lobby for new port

Southern Telegraph - - News - Gareth McKnight

A staunch op­po­nent of the nowde­funct Perth Freight Link has thrown its weight be­hind the es­tab­lish­ment of an outer har­bour in Kwinana and has called for the State Govern­ment to be trans­par­ent in the process of con­struct­ing a port in the Cock­burn Sound.

Re­think the Link lob­bied the pre­vi­ous State Govern­ment to drop the project, which Premier Mark McGowan duly did af­ter win­ning the March elec­tion.

RTL co-or­di­na­tor Kim Dravnieks is eager to form the West­ern Har­bours Al­liance, which hopes to bring to­gether stake­hold­ers “to give con­fi­dence to the Govern­ment” in pro­ceed­ing with the port project.

“At Re­think the Link we al­ways wanted to ad­vo­cate for sus­tain­able trans­port so­lu­tions — the PFL was not meet­ing any of the needs of our ship­ping, roads or rail,” she said.

“We have de­cided to get be­hind and sup­port in­dus­try’s ef­forts to es­tab­lish the Kwinana port. But what we want is re­ally good due process so we look at the en­vi­ron­men­tal and so­cial im­pacts — and the fi­nan­cial ben­e­fits that would come out of this.

“With any pro­gres­sion there will al­ways be con­cerns. What we have got to do is ex­am­ine them and see if there is a win-win sit­u­a­tion.”

The City of Kwinana has ad­vo­cated for a port in the Cock­burn Sound and Mayor Carol Adams wel­comed the for­ma­tion of the al­liance. “The City is thrilled to see such a pas­sion­ate group of com­mu­nity mem­bers ral­ly­ing be­hind the outer har­bour project,” she said.

“It is tes­ta­ment to the im­por­tance of the outer har­bour that we have seen such en­thu­si­asm from both the WA Govern­ment and the gen­eral pub­lic.”

Kwinana In­dus­tries Council chief ex­ec­u­tive Chris Oughton said the Kwinana In­dus­trial Area, the West­ern Trade Coast and the com­mu­ni­ties that sur­round it would ben­e­fit from a a deep­wa­ter port. “The big pic­ture here is about the very sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness and there­fore em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties that will open up for the State through a tran­si­tioned port pres­ence into the in­dus­trial area,” he said.

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