‘Westport’ is the name given to the Government’s election commitment for the planning around a new port in Kwinana. The Westport project is well underway and is strongly supported by industry. Current port infrastructure within the industrial area is essentially operating at capacity, and so too is the rail network.
When the new port in Kwinana is eventually built, we will see existing road, rail and port infrastructure upgraded to standards that will be needed to support a new internationally competitive port.
Many still believe the port in Kwinana is over a decade away, citing the capacity of the port in Fremantle as being able to support growth in container trade for another 20 to 30 years.
By Australian standards the port in Fremantle is competitive, and within its boundaries is able to meet these expansion estimates.
The problem with this thinking is two-fold:
- Firstly, the port in Fremantle is severely constrained in its supporting transport infrastructure and negative community sentiment around this. The Government is removing the Roe 8 reservation from the Perth Metropolitan Region Scheme, thus consigning the port to increasing community unrest about road and rail freight traffic congestion, air pollution, noise and safety around the carriage of dangerous goods through dense residential areas.
- Secondly, the government framed the new port in Kwinana in the context of opening up the State’s potential for new job creation and economic development. A new internationally competitive port will be the catalyst for the achievement of this goal.
This article is first published on KIC Annual Report 2019 | Economic Development | Page 11