Freo's View



The Fremantle High Street Upgrade which was to start in March this year is delayed again and will now commence in September with the demolition of the residential properties which are occupied by squatters.

MAINROADS released the message below this morning:

High Street Upgrade a step closer following Environmental Approval

The upgrade of High Street will proceed following completion of the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) Public Environmental Review process.

In March 2019, the EPA found the proposal environmentally acceptable, provided the conditions to reduce noise levels, retain identified mature trees and minimise the impact on black cockatoos were met. A public appeals process followed and the project can now proceed subject to the above conditions, following approval from the Minister for Environment on 23 May 2019. Further information can be found on the EPA website.

The project’s concept design , developed in consultation with the City of Fremantle, reflects a commitment to retain as many mature native and non-native trees as possible through the introduction of a median strip, as well as the installation of noise walls to offer residents protection from traffic noise. Engagement with local residents regarding the final location, design and configuration of these noise walls is ongoing.

Procurement update

In March 2019, Main Roads asked three shortlisted proponents to provide costed proposals for the detailed design and construction of the project. We expect to receive these proposals in July with a view to awarding a contract for delivery of the project in October. Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of this year.

Demolition of Main Roads properties on High Street

Main Roads owns several properties in the High Street Upgrade road reserve that will be demolished as the land is required for the project. The majority are not leased and are in poor and potentially dangerous condition.

We are aware these properties are being illegally used by people for accommodation. Consequently, we have been working with the Department of Communities to ensure the people residing in the properties have access to alternative housing.

Demolition of these properties is scheduled to occur in September following a 90-day notice period. Every effort will be made to minimise disruption to local residents and the road network during the demolition process.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on March 28, 2019


port activity, tiff


Fremantle Ports today celebrate 50 years since the start of the international container trade in Australia, with Fremantle the first port to receive such a ship.

The first purpose-built fully-cellular container ship for international long-haul trade, Encounter Bay, berthed at Fremantle on 28 March 1969. The ship’s arrival coincided with the opening of WA’s first container terminal by then-Premier, Sir David Brand.

Containerisation was first developed in the United States in the late 1950s, though the world’s first purpose-built container ship, Kooringa, was built in Australia in 1964 but only used on domestic trade routes.

In 1970, the Port of Fremantle handled around 50,000 container movements (twenty-foot equivalents) but last year handled 769,686.

Encounter Bay in 1969 could carry around 1500 containers, while the largest container ships visiting Fremantle today are capable of loading 9000 containers.

About 92 per cent of all manufactured imports come into WA via the Port of Fremantle.

The Fremantle Inner Harbour continues to grow its trade and can handle the largest container ships servicing Australian ports.

From July this year, it expects to receive even larger container ships of 347m long, each able to carry 9500 containers (TEU).

The Port of Fremantle has Australia’s fastest crane rate, best container turnaround, best truck turnaround and puts a larger proportion of containers on rail than any of the five major Australian ports.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on March 25, 2019




It is no secret that I love Freo’s working port, so I drive onto the South Mole at least once a day. I have noticed that, like this Monday morning, the port has been empty of container ships a few times during the last three months, so what is all the talk about that Fremantle Port is reaching its capacity?

There is a lot of discussion going on about the future of our port, and I agree that better solutions meed to be found to get freight in and out of the port, so a new bridge would be a start and more freight on rail, and no more empty trucks from and to the port.

Somewhere in it all there needs to be some relief for North Fremantle residents, so hopefully the Westport Taskforce will come up with solid recommendations to the State Government.

Roel Loopers




The North Fremantle community is not happy that Fremantle Council is officially supporting a continuation of a working Fremantle Port.

Ann Forma and Gerard MacGill of the North Fremantle Community Association have published a paper scrutinising facts and criticising new plans and the lack of consideration given to the impact a growing container port will have on local residents.

Forma and MacGill question why Fremantle Council have pre-empted the outcome of the Westport Taskforce by stating it wants “To retain and if possible expand this economic activity into the future, the inner harbour should be retained in the long term as an operating port.”

A Port study in 1991 already asked if the port will still be adequate in 30 years, and if not if it could be adapted or should a new port be constructed, and if so, where?

In 2005 Fremantle Ports’ preferred future was an overflow container port on an artificial island at Navel Base, south of Henderson.

The leases for DP World and Patrick’s at North Quay expire at the end of June this year, according to the NFCA report, but the preferred option of Fremantle Ports is to sign new seven-year leases with the stevedores, which would have the option of two future seven-year period extensions, so for a total of 21 years, ending in 2040.

The North Fremantle Community Association  paper states that the North Fremantle community paid a big price over the last 50 years with the ever-increasing port activities, but that the social and environmental impacts have never been properly assessed.

Roel Loopers

The NFCA report in full here:

Fremantle Ports Container Terminal History and Future


Posted in city of fremantle, containers, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on February 7, 2019


golden containers


The Fremantle Council Planning Committee meeting finished early for me on Wednesday evening, so enough time to drive onto the South Mole of Fremantle Port and capture the golden light of the setting sun on the containers of the Maersk Yangtze which entered the port just before 7.30pm.

There were plenty of clouds in the sky and the prospect of rain and even thunder on Thursday.

Roel Loopers




The opinion piece by Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt in today’s West Australian about the pros and cons of an outer harbour, and the continuation of Fremantle as a working port is pragmatic and realistic, and without the political spin we are often getting about this important topic.

Brad Pettitt rightly argues that there is no immediate need for an outer harbour in Kwinana and that the environmental damage to Cockburn Sound might well be unacceptable. The Mayor also points out that shifting the port away from Fremantle would “erode Fremantle’s history and identity and lead to a big loss of economic activity…”

I agree with the Freo Mayor that the Perth Freight Link was a flawed plan that did not resolve how to get freight to the port, and that increased container freight by rail, with a new rail bridge across the Swan River, could see Fremantle continue as our much-liked working port.

It is a good idea to move the offloading of imported vehicles to Kwinana, or even Bunbury, and maybe also the scrap metal and live sheep transport.

A new rail bridge and rail line and better use of freight on roads, where we no longer see empty trucks running in and out of the port, and more freight by road during the evenings, are all part of the solution.

Fremantle Ports and the State Government should also become serious about part development of Victoria Quay and prioritise this by changing the buffer zones around the port, so that tourist and residential accommodation will be possible.

Moving the car imports away from Fremantle can be done very fast and does not need large infrastructure investment and the same applies to sheep trade.

I love the working port of Fremantle and would hate to see it become only a port for cruise ships. The container ships are part of Freo’s history and should continue to be so for many more years.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on December 13, 2018



The first progress report by the WESTPORT Taskforce is an interesting read. It came out yesterday, so check it out on-line as it is quite substantial.

I had a quick look at the WHAT HAVE WE FOUND SO FAR report and there are two points I consider very important for Fremantle. The first one is that the report states that Fremantle Port would be capable of handling double the number of containers it does now, as long as improved road and rail access to deliver and pick up container freight is part of the development.

The second one is maybe even more important as it means that residential and other development along Victoria Quay does not have to be halted until the port stops accepting containers.

The reports states: However, the Fremantle Port buffer is a guideline rather than a State statutory and use planning instrument. It does not preclude planning for additional residential development, even in the area closest to the port, and is dependent on local governments to regulate.

This is really important, because so far any attempt at wanting to build residential or hotel accommodation at Victoria Quay has been dismissed as not being possible because of the buffer zone around the port. It might just need a different, less rigid, approach by the Fremantle Ports board and management.

And a few more snippets from the report:

Changing community expectations about what is shipped from the port should be recognised as a constraint to development in the Fremantle study area. With the relocation of some trades, the port could expand its container operations or alternatively, use the space for non-port purposes.

Changing land use within the port buffer could open opportunities for a range of recreation, commercial and residential activities around Victoria Quay and in North Fremantle.

Key considerations of future work will be to: determine how long Fremantle’s Inner Harbour can efficiently and safely operate alongside the increasingly urban environment of the City of Fremantle; assess the impacts that trucks and other traffic has on suburbs west of the Kwinana Freeway as well as on access to the port; identify opportunities to facilitate and grow trade; assess if and when any trades should be moved to a different port location; and plan for the infrastructure required to keep freight moving efficiently and the economy growing for decades to come.

Any change to Fremantle Port operation will be long-term and won’t be happening for many years. It is quite clear from this progress report that there is no immediate need to move all port operation to Kwinana or Bunbury, but that a long transitional period might be required to move some operations.

The Westport Taskforce will continue to work, explore and consult with all affected communities and stakeholders, and nothing will happen overnight, or next year.

Roel Loopers


Posted in city of fremantle, containers, fremantle ports, maritime, stevedores, Uncategorized by freoview on September 26, 2018





The Chinese vessel Zhen Hua 24 departed Fremantle Port at sunset on Tuesday evening, heading for Brisbane to deliver one of the massive 50metre-high container cranes there, as she had also done in Fremantle.

The cranes are for DP World operation around Australia and four of them were still onboard when the ship left, which made for a very impressive sight, and is one of the many reasons why I love the working Freo port.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on September 22, 2018


cranes 1

cranes 3


The Zhen Huan 24 was scheduled to leave Fremantle Port at 1.30pm on Friday, but it did not happen, although the mooring ropes had been released and two tug boats were waiting for over an hour.

I wanted to take a photo of the five huge 50-metre-high cranes onboard the ship dwarfing the green lighthouse on the South Mole, but unfortunately that did not eventuate, so I waited in vain for an hour and a half.

I took these two photos instead, the one with the railway station showing why a working port is such a unique attraction for our city.

Roel Loopers



Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2018


port 1

port 2


I was not aware that the Chinese ship Zhen Hua 24 carrying five huge container cranes had entered Fremantle Port, so it was an amazing sight to see it at berth at North Quay this morning, where it offloaded one of the cranes.

The cranes are 50 metres high and weigh 1200 tonnes and are delivered at DP World stevedores in Australian ports, one of them Fremantle.

Roel Loopers


%d bloggers like this: