Freo's View

WESTPORT TASKFORCE LATEST REPORT ON NEW CONTAINER PORT OPTIONS

 

The Westport Taskforce has just released their latest report about the options for a probable new container port near Kwinana, so I copied and paste it for you all:

 

Changes to Westport’s shortlist

Westport announced its shortlist of five port options in August 2019. The shortlist, which was the result of the first multi-criteria analysis (MCA-1) on the long-list, consisted of three stand-alone Kwinana options and two shared Fremantle/Kwinana options.

After the release of Westport Beacon 7: Westport’s shortlist, the order and cataloguing of the options (which are now A-E) was subsequently changed for the purposes of MCA-2 and to allow the options to be re-assessed with a clean slate regardless of how they were ranked in MCA-1.

Since then, the Westport Taskforce has gathered information to enable a deeper understanding of how each option performs against the MCA-2 criteria.As work for the MCA-2 got underway, it became evident that two sub-options (Option D2 and Option E2) were required to allow separate assessment of a staged transition from the shared port options (Options D and E) to a stand-alone port in Kwinana. The transition Options D2 and E2 did not form part of MCA-1, but have now been added to the shortlist to enable investigations into infrastructure staging, timing and cost implications.

The addition of the two transition options highlights the complexity of Westport’s work and how the project has remained flexible to adapt to new inputs as required. This ensures that the best outcome can be achieved.The revised shortlist of options assessed in MCA-2 are summarised in Table 1 below. Options A to E are all end-state options, while Options D2 and E2 are transition options that both lead to Option B as the end-state.

Table 1: Summary of shortlist options assessed in MCA-2OptionDescription Operation

Option A KwinanaCockburn Sound North (vicinity Rowley Road) narrow island port with intermodal operations at Latitude 32End-state

Option B KwinanaCockburn Sound South (vicinity Anketell Road) conventional land-backed portEnd-state

Option C KwinanaCockburn Sound South (vicinity Anketell Road)conventional island portEnd-state

Option D Fremantle and Kwinana. Unmodified Fremantle Port shared with Cockburn Sound South (vicinity Anketell Road) medium conventional land-backed portEnd-state

Option D2 Fremantle and Kwinana. Unmodified Fremantle Port shared with Cockburn Sound South (vicinity Anketell Road) medium land-backed port transitioning to Cockburn Sound South (vicinity Anketell Road) land-backed port (Option B)Transition to Option B

Option E Fremantle and Kwinana. Slightly modified Fremantle Port shared with Cockburn Sound South (vicinity Anketell Road) medium conventional land-backed port with Blue HighwayEnd-state

Option E2 Fremantle and Kwinana. Slightly modified Fremantle Port shared with Cockburn Sound South (vicinity Anketell Road) medium land-backed port with Blue Highway, transitioning to Cockburn Sound South (vicinity Anketell Road) land-backed port (Option B)Transition to Option B

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LOW SPEED HIGH STREET FREIGHT PROJECT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on November 6, 2019

 

 

The High Street Upgrade Project by Mainroads is going extremely slow.  I hear roadworks won’t be starting before February next year, so one has to wonder what is holding it up.

The City of Fremantle demolished the houses and FERN two months ago, so why is this important freight project not a priority for the State Government and a project that has to advance as fast as possible?

The proposed large roundabout at the Stirling Highway and High Street intersection is designed to allow trucks to go faster and to help speed up the freight trip to Fremantle Port, so why there is a five-month pause in the construction of it is questionable.

Roel Loopers

 

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FREMANTLE PORT POLITICAL FOOTBALL

 

The news that the Maritime Union of Australia-MUA have pulled out of the Westport Taskforce process, that was established to identify if, where and when a new container port is needed in WA, is as disappointing as it was predictable.

Unfortunately the process has been kidnapped by political and self interest and that makes it near impossible for Westport Taskforce chair Nicole Lockwoood and her team to remain independent.

The very first meeting I went to at the Fremantle Townhall had a commercial expert on the panel who predicted tens of thousands of job if a new port was built at Kwinana. It turned out he is the husband of the Mayor of the Town of Kwinana, so hardly an independent expert.

WA Premier Mark McGowan no doubt can also clearly see the economic benefits for his electorate of Rockingham if an international port is built just down the road from it, and the MUA is really only interested in the short-term retaining of jobs for the wharfies and worried about a largely automated new port at Kwinana, or elsewhere.

While the Labor government has promised to not privatise Fremantle Port it has not made similar promises for a new Kwinana port, and neither have the Liberal opposition.

The environmental impact on Cockburn Sound has not been investigated thoroughly and it is wrong to say that dredging would only happen at the start of the process because future dredging in the sound and Gage Roads will be needed as the size of container vessels grow.

The political argument that the Roe 8 option was excluded and therefor the process is flawed is wrong. The Labor party made the election promise not to build Roe 8, so that was clear from the start. It is also clear that the former Liberal government totally messed up the Perth Freight Link project because it could not find a solution to extend the new freight link all the way to the port, and it stopped at the Swan river.

Traffic congestion in North Fremantle and along Leach Highway are mainly caused by private cars as freight trucks to and from the port account for only 10% of the traffic volume.  The same number of trucks come to Fremantle Port as it did ten years ago, so while container import has increased it has been better handled and not resulted in more truck movements.

The Westport Takforce have stated that port related freight at Kwinana would mainly be road based, so traffic issues at Kwinana and surrounding areas need to be investigated first because it would be unfair to simply shift the traffic problems further south and away from the Fremantle area.

Moving the port from Fremantle to Kwinana would have an enormous impact on the Fremantle economy and while development along the river mouth would no doubt make partly up for that the loss of the working port would be immense and negative for our city.

While I believe the Westport Taskforce process is very thorough it is probably not helpful that they prematurely release findings and everyone jumps on the bandwagon to criticise everything they are doing. Transparency is great but appears to have become a hindrance in allowing the process to continue without political grandstanding.

First and foremost we need to see a very detailed environmental impact report for Cockburn Sound and the impact a new port at Kwinana would have on the local communities there and the traffic issues and solutions.

We should then also get to see a report on how/if Fremantle Port operations can continue and grow for 20-30 years without and increasing negative impact for North Fremantle, Melville and people living along the rail corridor.

A new freight bridge has been promised but what actually will it do to help solve all the issues we are all aware about, and would a tunnel be a better and realistic option?

There are still so many questions and not enough solutions, and it is not helpful that politicians, the MUA, the Town of Kwinana and other self interest groups are now kicking the political football around, that is going to kick a lot of goals but will probably have no winners.

My suggestion to everyone of them is to stay out of the process and allow Nicole Lockwood and her team to do what they get paid for. Once we see the final recommendations we can scrutinise the outcome and the process and accept or criticise it. No matter what the recommendations are, not everyone will be happy with it, but doing nothing is not an option as the future of Fremantle Port is not infinite.

Roel Loopers

CHALLENGING FREMANTLE PORT FUTURE

Posted in city of fremantle, city planning, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 19, 2019

 

The protest yesterday by the MUA-Maritime Union of Australia in front of Minister Simone McGurk’s office in Fremantle made me wonder why the union is not engaged in finding solutions.

It is by now well known that Fremantle Port can easily handle many more containers and could remain a working port for another 20-25 years, but that the issues are with how freight gets to and from the port, so has the MUA offered any ideas on how to solve that?

Why does MUA’s Chris Cain not sit down with Fremantle Ports, the trucking and stevedore companies and try to find solutions so that they get the people in North Fremantle and near Leach highway on their side?

I am always skeptical about a layperson offering quick solutions, so my suggestions are merely meant to be the start of a discussion among the experts.

Why not demand, or even enforce, 24/7 freight on road, more after business hours movement, so that there is less congestion during the day time?

Why not encourage or enforce that trucks can not arrive empty to pick up containers, but also have to deliver on the same trip? That might require more computerised collaboration between trucking companies, but it would make freight by road more efficient and hence more cost efficient. A win win for all.

Trucks that can only transport one single container should be banned as it is inefficient and clogs up roads. Coming back from the dentist yesterday I was at a North Fremantle traffic light where I saw nine trucks coming through and all of them just carrying one container. That is silly.

More freight on rail is also helpful but there is an issue with noise and vibration for people in the west end of Fremantle, and the current line cannot handle double stacking, so growth is limited even when a new bridge is built.

Fremantle Port is one of the most efficient ports in Australia so the MUA members clearly know what they are doing, so they should put their considerable experience toward trying to make the freight part of the operation more efficient and less of a burden on the local community.

And one more word to Chris Cain and his threat that the Member for Fremantle will be gone at the next election. Do you really believe that Lisa-I should think before I speak-Harvey and Bill-I must have been absent when God handed out brains-Marmion will be more supportive of the MUA than the current government?

Simone McGurk is a very hard working and excellent minister who has some very challenging portfolios, such as child protection and domestic violence. She does not deserve the MUA threat.

I love the working port and hope it will remain for a very long time, but consideration must also be given to the residents in North Fremantle and along the road and rail freight corridors, so it is a much bigger issue than just jobs for wharfies.  The MUA should be pro-active in investigation which kind of new jobs a new port might have to offer and assist in retraining some of their members.

But there is no need for panic as a new port if built at Kwinana will be a very slow and long process, and Chris Cain will long have retired by then and I will be long dead.

Roel Loopers

FREO HIGH STREET UPGRADE UPDATE

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 16, 2019

 

High 6

 

The Fremantle High Street Upgrade project is one step closer to realisation with all the buildings now demolished and removed.

The Mainroads project hopes to make freigh transport to and from Fremantle Port, faster, safer and smoother, with a new large roundabout planned at the Stirling Highway intersection where many trucks have overturned in the past.

Roel Loopers

HIGH STREET PROJECT SECURITY WASTE OF MONEY

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle port, state government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on September 13, 2019

 

One has to wonder why Mainroads is wasting so much money on having 24/7 security guards at the Fremantle High Street Upgrade project. They are now ‘protecting’ bare soil as the homes have been demolished so there is nothing to vandalise or steal.

The formers occupants have stated they will not protest as a deal was done about planting thousands of sapplings to compensate for the loss of trees.

Roel Loopers

 

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THERE ARE NO SIMPLE PORT SOLUTIONS

 

 

About one hundred people turned up at the North Fremantle community hall on Tuesday evening to ask questions about the future of Fremantle Port, which were answered by Nicole Lockwood, the chair of the Westport Taskforce, Ports CEO Chris Leatt-Hayter, Curtin university professor Peter Newman and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt.

In the audience were also members from the Fremantle Inner City Residents Association and Fremantle Society president John Dowson, as well as Fremantle Councillors Jones, Archibald and Sullivan.

Nicole Lockwood told us that the so-called Blue Highway of putting containers on barges to ship them to Kwinana was very common all around the world. It is option 3 on the  shortlist.

It does not matter if the government selected the Roe 8 or Leach Highway options because both are flawed as the problem of the last mile to cross the river and getting freight into port was the problematic one that has not been resolved.

But it will take at least ten years to do anything new at all, and in the meantime we should be getting a new traffic bridge with a dedicated freight rail line on it.

Chris Leatt-Hayter said that Fremantle Ports is supportive of the Westport Taskforce and that it is a rigorous, fair and sound process. Fremantle Port could handle ships of up to 350 metres long and that were the biggest ones coming to Australia currently.

Leatt-Hayter said that the same number of trucks came to the port now as they did ten years ago, because many more containers were transported by rail and fewer trucks came or left empty.

The Port do not take the community for granted and try to minimise the impact of their operations. It has 78% support from the community to continue the Freo working port!

Mayor Brad Pettitt said that the working port is very much part of Fremantle’s identity and who we are and that it is good for our economy and provides thousands of port related jobs, but what happens on land needs to be managed as it impacts on the community. The shift onto rail is the key. “We want to keep the working port as long as we can.”

Professor Peter Newman wants the ASAP solution of having a new port in Kwinana as soon as possible because he believes litheum exports will substantially increase the number of containers.”We need a new technology port.”

The Q&A did not have many specific North Fremantle questions but Leatt-Hayter said that freight on rail had issues because it goes right past the Roundhouse and close to residential apartments.

Nicole Lockwood said a tunnel is far more problematic in the Perth region and even more so at the river mouth and that putting trains through a tunnel would mean they end up somewhere near Rottnest because of the gradient. Cost efficiency was also a major factor.

Aboriginal woman Corina Abrahams said that there was not enough concern for the cultural heritage and that we should not ruin Cockburn Sound. Common sense needs to prevail.

One community speaker said the solution was a dedicated lane for autonomous trucks that could run 24/7 and would create a lot less noise than the diesel trucks.

Nicole Lockwood said the state government needed to do two things at once; planning for the long term and improving for the short term. Significant investment would be needed in the next ten years with at least six major projects to improve the Fremantle Port operations, including widening Curtin Avenue. “Perth just does not have enough river crossings.”

North Freo resident Anne Forma said there had been a lot of talk and a lot of plans but nothing had happened and that the 2010 plans could have been implemented by now. “Investment in Fremantle Port is not a long term solution.”

Roel Loopers

HIGH STREET UPGRADE DEMOLITION

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, state government, Uncategorized by freoview on September 9, 2019

 

 

It did not take long to demolish the service station, houses and Fern along Fremantle’s High Street to make way for the High Street Upgrade project that will see a new roundabout at Stirling Highway and a widening of the road. It will allow for a smoother journey for freight trucks to and from Fremantle Port.

Roel Loopers

ROAD AND RAIL NOISE PROTECTION FOR COMMUNITY

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, noise, state government, traffic, trains, transport, Uncategorized by freoview on September 6, 2019

 

Planning Minister Rita Saffioti today released the revised State Planning Policy 5.4 road and rail noise, which aims to balance the needs of transport corridors with protecting the community from unreasonable amounts of noise.

The new policy will help develop better land use and development outcomes around major transport corridors, including METRONET and the McGowan Government’s social and affordable housing package that will be built around station precincts.

  • Revised State Planning Policy 5.4 on road and rail noise released following public consultation
  • Updated policy aims to balance the needs of transport corridors while protecting the community from unreasonable noise
  • Will broadly apply to new residential developments within 300 metres of a transit corridor
  • New guidelines will support delivery of major McGowan Government election commitments including METRONET

The review was overseen by the Western Australian Planning Commission and involved an extensive public consultation period, with 62 stakeholder submissions received.

The new policy balances the community’s need for amenity and quiet while also recognising the need for important freight and transit corridors.

It aims to ensure noise impacts are addressed as early as possible in the planning process and encourages best practice around noise mitigation design and construction standards.

The updated policy will apply broadly to new residential developments proposed within 300 metres of a specified transport corridor and to new or major upgrades of roads and railways.

In addition to simplifying the assessment and implementation process, the policy and associated guidelines will:

  • Provide guidance on ‘quiet house’ design requirements such as building orientation, window glazing and insulation;
  • Introduce mapping and trigger distances that demonstrate areas to which the policy applies;
  • Prioritise strategic freight routes and ensure noise mitigation measures are suitable for the function of the route and the proposed or current land use; and
  • Provide better guidance on the content and form of noise management plans.

For more information, visit http://www.dplh.wa.gov.au/spp5-4

 

Roel Loopers

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NO TREE HUGGING AT HIGH STREET UPGRADE

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, trees, Uncategorized by freoview on September 6, 2019

 

Good to read in the Fremantle Herald today that there will be no protest and people living up trees at the High Street Upgrade project, to get freight faster to Fremantle Port.

The Forest Rescue group people have liaised with Mainroads, according to the Chook, and found a really good compromise. As a ‘tree offset’ measure Mainroads has agreed to plant 10,000 Tuart sapling in Fremantle and neighbouring councils, to compensate for the loss of 67 trees.

Work on the demolition of the High Street buildings and FERN has already started and a golf course design team has been appointed by the City of Fremantle to redesign the public course that will initially lose two holes because of the road widening.

Roel Loopers

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