Freo's View

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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MAKE OVER FOR FREO OLD WEIGHBRIDGE

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle port, heritage, historic, local government, Uncategorized by freoview on December 16, 2018

 

 

The lovely little old weighbridge building in the Phillimore/Cliff street roundabout is getting a make over.

Tuck pointing has finished and the City of Fremantle painter will be doing the rest to make it look good again, but I don’t think anyone has showed interest to move in and do something with the building.

The plans for a small bar there have been abandoned and that is probably better, as the roundabout is quite dangerous with motorists traveling against one way directions out of the car park and Fleet Street daily.

Roel Loopers

WESTPORT TASKFORCE FIRST PROGRESS REPORT IS OUT

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

FERN TO MAKE WAY FOR HIGHWAY UPGRADE

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on November 10, 2018

 

FERN, the Fremantle Environmental Resource Network will be served with a notice that their monthly lease at 26 Montreal Street will be terminated to make way for the upgrade by Main Roads WA of the Stirling Highway/High Street intersection.

FERN has been on the site on a monthly lease since March 2009, so they have been aware for a long time that they will have to move out to accommodate the upgrade of the busy freight link to Fremantle Port.

The community facility will be demolished and the site cleared by the City of Fremantle, but costs for that will be reimbursed by MRWA.

Start for the construction of the intersection upgrade is planned for mid 2019.

Roel Loopers

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CONTAINER CRANE SHIP DELAYS DEPARTURE

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

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NEW CONTAINER CRANE FOR FREMANTLE PORT

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

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HIGH STREET UPGRADE CONCEPT VISUAL

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on August 30, 2018

 

High Street upgrade

Here the latest visual by WA Main Roads of the High Street-Stirling Highway upgrade in Fremantle.

Fremantle Council last night endorsed Main Roads WA’s revised plan for the upgrade of High Street.

The state government last year committed $118 million to upgrade High Street, from Carrington Street to Stirling Highway, to reduce traffic congestion and improve road safety.

A concept plan released by Main Roads in March included a roundabout at the intersection of High Street and Stirling Highway, a wide median to separate traffic and preserve significant trees, and a new service road for residents on the northern side of High Street.

Following extensive community consultation, underpasses under High Street and Stirling Highway were added to the revised plan to improve connectivity for pedestrians and cyclists.

At a special meeting on Wednesday the council endorsed the revised plan and also consented to the excision of land from A Class and C Class reserves along High Street to accommodate the project.

To offset the loss of land from the High Street reserves the council is seeking to exchange it for Main Roads land on Clontarf Hill.

 

Roel Loopers

THE FUTURE OF FREMANTLE PORT FORUM TONIGHT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2018

 

A large flyer has been put in letterboxes around Fremantle in support of Fremantle Port to continue as a working port.

‘FREMANTLE PORT WORKS’ the anonymous flyer claims, citing a $ 250 million upgrade in 2010 and that the port has the capacity to operate for another 25+ years.

Fremantle Port is currently trading around 700,000 TEUs per year but could handle volumes of 2.2-2.4 million TEUs the flyer claims.

The authors of the flyer also state that in 2017 only 10% of traffic on Tydeman Road were container trucks, and that only 48% of trucks visiting Fremantle Port were laden both at arrival and departure. Trade volumes have increased since 2015 but truck movements have decreased, the flyer screams in bold type.

We don’t need a new port in Kwinana that would destroy forever the environmentally sensitive Cockburn Sound, the authors write.

It shows that the deliberations by the WESTPORT taskforce about a new port and scaling down or closing Fremantle Port as a container port are emotive issues in our community, so the forum this evening at the Fremantle Townhall will hopefully shed some light on the facts and fiction of a new port and the future of Fremantle Port.

The forum is on TODAY from 6-8pm. See you there!

Roel Loopers

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TWO UNDERPASSES FOR PORT LINK

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on August 26, 2018

 

There will be a special Fremantle Council meeting on Wednesday to discuss Main Roads proposal for the High Street roundabout and safer freight connectivity to Fremantle Port.

The proposal is meant to make the trip for trucks to and from Fremantle Port faster, safer and easier, while also addressing pedestrian safety by putting two underpasses under the road, one at the Montreal/High street intersection and one near Forrest Street under Stirling Highway.

The widening of the road will have an impact on the Royal Fremantle and public golf courses, and Booyeembara Park, and will also affect FERN and the Frank Gibson Park.

A slip street at High Street for traffic travelling to the city from the east will make that journey a bit easier as well.

Fremantle Council will ask for Main Roads land at Clontarf Hill to compensate for the loss of green space the widening of the road will cause.

The Special Council meeting on Wednesday was also going to deal with the tenders for the civic centre, but that item has been scratched, so the only item on the agenda is the High Street/Stirling Highway Upgrade Project.

 

Roel Loopers

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