Renewed call for Kwinana port
PROPONENTS of a new port have seized on the Fremantle Port Authority’s (FPA) 2016-17 annual report saying growth is restricted and more dredging and new cranes could be needed.
“Why does FPA call for significant infrastructure upgrades to a port that has no capacity to provide space for industry expansion and again attempts to lock in all the associated problems with freight transport?” Western Harbours Alliance (WHA) spokeswoman Kim Dravnieks said.
The 2016-17 report said urban encroachment and nearby land uses in Fremantle would “restrict the ability of the port to develop its optimum capacity” and increase public safety risks.
The WHA argues a new port at the north end of Kwinana has land for unrestricted operations that could develop new industries and about 30,000 jobs.
Ms Dravnieks said the report was the first time the FPA had said its riverside harbour needed deepening from about 14.5m to at least 16.5m for planned 12,500-container New Panamax-class ships needing new larger cranes and tugs.
“This could cost $500 million, $1 billion or more, and it doesn’t even consider the road and rail upgrades required, and it is possible that environmental consultants are already looking at widening the harbour for turning larger ships,” Ms Dravnieks said.
FPA chief executive Chris Leatthayter said the report’s information did not mean additional deepening was now being proposed, or imply the FPA would oppose more port facilities in the future.
Mr Leatt-hayter said the FPA had planned for new harbour facilities after the riverside harbour reached its capacity and it supported State Government development of a strategy to guide growth of both the Fremantle port and the future harbour at Kwinana.
■ New port forum, November 20 from 7pm at Victoria Hall, High Street, Fremantle.