Freo's View

IS NEW FREMANTLE TRAFFIC BRIDGE A CORE ELECTION PROMISE?

Posted in city of fremantle, democracy, election, freight, fremantle port, politics, Uncategorized by freoview on March 30, 2019

 

 

traffic bridge

 

Elections are like Christmas where the anticipation of what voters and communities will get out of it is high, but when we are all quite cynical if the promises all parties make will ever be realised, and if Father Christmas in the form of ScoMo or Shorto will actually deliver.

Is the promise by the Labor and Liberal parties of a new traffic bridge in Fremantle one of their core promises set in stone or is it just yet another sweetener to soften us up and vote for a particular party?

Should a new traffic bridge even be contemplated before we see the recommendations and outcome of the Westport Taskforce investigations into Western Australian ports and how freight should be handled? Is a new traffic bridge needed should a new port be built at Kwinana or would it be a waste of money?

The Libs and Labs have both promised $ 115 million for a new train traffic bridge, with the Libs throwing in a new pedestrian bridge as well for that money.

I noticed though that the pedestrian bridge is indicated as being to the east of the traffic bridge and that is a bit of a shame as uninterrupted views to the port would be magnificent and a tourist attraction if not obscured by the traffic bridge, so either put the pedestrian bridge to the west of the traffic bridge or make the traffic bridge lower or higher than the pedestrian bridge.

Anyway, it is unlikely to happen in my lifetime unfortunately, so my Christmas present this year will be the opening of FOMO at Kings Square. At least that is tangible and does not rely on promises from unreliable politicians.

Roel Loopers

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50 YEARS OF CONTAINERS AT FREMANTLE PORTS

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

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FREMANTLE PORT AT CAPACITY?

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

 

Port

 

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

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HAVE YOUR SAY ABOUT FREMANTLE PORT FREIGHT ISSUES

 

 

port cranes at sunset

 

The WA Westport Taskforce, established to find the best solution for the increasing port related freight and investigating if a new port will be needed in the immediate future, are doing a community survey online, so if you want to have your say click on http://www.mysaytransport.wa.gov.au/westport

Is an overflow container port needed sooner than expected, how long will North Fremantle be able to cope with increasing freight on road, is a new rail line an option, when will a new rail bridge be built, is Fremantle Port anywhere near capacity?

There are hundreds of questions and concerns about road traffic, pollution, the environment, what impact a new port might have on the health of Cockburn Sound, etc.

Roel Loopers

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FREO HIGH STREET UPGRADE START STILL SIX MONTHS AWAY

 

 

The Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority-EPA– have approved the Fremantle High Street upgrade along the Fremantle golf course and at the Stirling Highway intersection.

The upgrade is planned to make road freight traffic to and from Fremantle Port easier and faster and will require widening of High Street at the golf course, removal of Tuart trees, and demolishing the FERN site and the old cottages, occupied by squatters currently.

But it is not going to happen in March, as was initially planned, because the minister will still have to sign off on the A-Class land excision.

At present it is anticipated that contractors for the City of Fremantle will start on the demolition of the cottages in July/August and Mainroads WA will then start on the road widening in September/October.

Environmentalists have warned they will try to stop the removal of some of the Tuart trees, so that could become interesting. It is important to note here that the reason the road is partly put on the golf course fairway is to preserve as many trees as possible on the new median strip.

A land swap suggested by Fremantle Council, where the City would get some of the land at Clontarf Hill in exchange for the land taken away from the golf course, is being considered but Mainroads have not yet made a decision on that, so stay tuned.

Roel Loopers

NORTH FREMANTLE COMMUNITY NOT HAPPY WITH GROWING PORT

 

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

NEW FREMANTLE BRIDGE URGENTLY NEEDED

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on February 14, 2019

 

A new bridge to replace the Fremantle Traffic Bridge has been added to the list of priority proposals by Infrastructure Australia, according to an article in today’s West Australian newspapers.

WA’s Main Roads believe that the bridge would have to be closed in the near future unless significant maintenance work is undertaken, but this will not extend the life of the almost 80-year-old bridge.

A closure of the old bridge would have significant impact and cause serious traffic delays across the Swan River.

We have seen a lot of patching up of the bridge and fenders put around it to stop large ships from slamming into it, but it has been very clear for many years that a new bridge is needed.

Now here is a challenge for Josh Wilson MP and the Labor Party. Instead of promising a new car park at Leighton for train commuters if you win the election, why not build a far more urgent new bridge and do something really significant for Fremantle!

Roel Loopers

RAIL LINE PHOTOGRAPHY IS STUPIDITY

 

rail 2

 

I just do not understand the fascination people have with rail lines and why they want to be photographed on them, when it is dangerous and illegal to do so.

Even wedding parties are being captured on the rails near the Fremantle Roundhouse, so what is the symbolism of it, I wonder?

I took this photo about an hour ago when these two young ladies walked a long way from the railway crossing to take photos. Pretty stupid as a lot of container freight trains come through there on their way to the port!

Roel Loopers

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FREMANTLE MAYOR WANTS FREO PORT TO STAY

 

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

HIGH STREET UPGRADE NEEDS EPA APPROVAL

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, state government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on December 18, 2018

 

I received the below message about the High Street upgrade for freight to Fremantle Port from Main Roads, so important to share it with the Fremantle community:

As part of the environmental approvals process the High Street Upgrade project was referred to the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA). On 6 November 2018 the EPA determined that a public environmental review will be held for the project. As part of the environmental approvals process, we are releasing an Environmental Review Document for a public comment period from Monday 17 December 2018 to Friday 18 January 2019.

In the meantime we are continuing to progress planning and project development. You might have noticed us out and about undertaking a range of geotechnical and site investigations as we further develop the preliminary design.

In October we called for expressions of interest from industry as the first step in engaging a contractor to design and deliver the project.

Our noise assessment process also identified that the project requires noise mitigation in line with the Western Australian Planning Commission Road and Rail Noise Policy (State Planning Policy 5.4). Letters went out to property owners in October providing some initial information about noise mitigation.

Main Roads is also working with the City of Fremantle to develop a landscaping and urban design framework to guide the project.

Look out for future updates early in 2019 or visit the High Street Project page for more information.

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