Freo's View

IS WESTPORT SHORTLIST PREMATURE?

 

It is predictable that Garreth Parker in today’s column in the pro Liberal Sunday Times claims that the Westport Taskforce is flawed because it did not consider Roe8/9 as a potential solution, but that is for two reasons. There is no potential Roe 8/9 offered that had a solution for the North Fremantle traffic congestions, as the Barnett government experts could not find a way of connecting the last part of the highway extension into the port, and the second reason is that the McGowan government was elected with a landslide on the promise not to build Roe 8/9.

While I believe the Westport Taskforce process has been very good I am surprised they announced the preferred shortlist of options before environmental assessments have been made about the impact a potential new port in Kwinana might have on Cockburn Sound and what impact the mainly land-based transport options would have on local communities away from Leach Highway and North Fremantle.

What if the EPA and other agencies rule that marine life would be far too much threatened in Cockburn Sound and that a new port is not acceptable? Do we start from scratch again and repeat the whole expensive progress without a new Kwinana port as an option?

Public information and transparency are very important, but maybe it was just premature to announce a shortlist of options with a new Kwinana port as the first option before we understand the impact it might have on the very important Cockburn Sound.

Roel Loopers

LET WESTPORT TASKFORCE FINISH THEIR JOB!

 

It is disappointing that the in my opinion very thorough Westport Taskforce is now being criticised by the WA Liberal opposition and their PR agency the West Australian.

For two years the taskforce has dealt with all the stakeholders and conducted excellent community consultation but now they are being criticised for not having considered the Perth Freight Link.

Might it be the PFL was not considered because it fails to offer a solution on how to get freight faster and better to Fremantle Port because the PFL stopped at the Fremantle traffic bridge without any improvements to the North Fremantle bottleneck?

The Westport Taskforce preferred option is for the container port to be shifted to a new port at Kwinana and I believe that is most likely what the State Goivernment will decide on if all environmental approvals can be obtained that show that the impact on Cockburn Sound can be managed. It is unlikely the stevedores will support double handling of moving containers from Fremantle to Kwinana on barges as that would add costs and time.

For the City of Fremantle it is important to start planning what to do if we lose the great cranes and containers and most of the wharfies and port related office workers in town. Fremantle Port is so much part of Fremantle’s unique character and if we lose it we are in serious trouble as cruiseliners only come for a few months during the summer period.

While development at Victoria Quay would link the port better to the Fremantle CBD, a port without cranes and ships becomes just the river mouth of the Swan River.

The Westport Taskforce is still investigating and not finished yet and will now have to research if the Kwinana option is environmentally safe, so why not let them do their work without interfering and political finger pointing.

Roel Loopers

 

CONTINUING FREMANTLE PORT ONLY SECOND OPTION FOR WESTPORT TASKFORCE

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on August 15, 2019

 

The WESTPORT TASKFORCE has released its shortlist for future port operations and the preferred one is # 1- is the option 23 on the long list that would see a stand-alone land-backed port handling all container freight at Kwinana. The new port would extend from the Kwinana Bulk Jetty to the Alcoa jetty.

Option #2 is the long list Fremantle option 2 plus Kwinana option 24 for a shared port with a new one at Kwinana and Fremantle Port remaining as it is with some road, rail and operational enhancements.

Option # 3 would be as option # 2 but with a so called Blue Highway of shallow barges transporting containers from Fremantle to Kwinana.

From the Westport Taskforce:

While all of the assessment criteria were deemed to be of high importance, the assigned weightings are further explained below:

1. Capital expenditure and land acquisition costs, as a combined criterion, was weighted highest (18.2 per cent) as affordability was considered the most important criterion for the State. It is critical that Westport delivers an outcome that is fnancially responsible for the State.

2. Similarly, operations and maintenance costs received the second highest weighting of 16.4 per cent, as the fnal option must be commercially viable and affordable for the long-term.

3. Land use compatibility was weighted third at 14.5 per cent, as the impacts of expanded road and rail corridors, increased freight movement and/or a new port would be signifcant on nearby residences.

4. Marine environmental impacts were weighted highly at 12.7 per cent as a result of strong community support for this criterion.

5. Terrestrial environmental impacts were also weighted highly at 9.1 per cent, again in acknowledgment of the importance of this value to the community.

6. Net amenity impacts – such as impacts on recreation, visual amenity and beach use – were weighted equally at 9.1 per cent, based on strong community feedback around these issues.

7. The ability to expand the infrastructure (scalability) in the long-term if required and operational effciency was similarly weighted at 9.1 per cent.

8. Other determining factors were deemed to be heritage impacts (5.5 per cent), port and transport corridor access (3.7 per cent) and land availability and complexity of acquisitions (1.8 per cent)

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE’S TWO HARBOURS

 

Port

FBH

 

There is a lot of activity going on in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour with ships being repaired and maintained until the season up north starts again.

At Fremantle Port two huge RoRo vessels are delivering hundreds of vehicles so that is always an impressive sight as well.

Roel Loopers

SILLY MEDIA PUSH FOR REJECTED PERTH FREIGHT LINK

 

I find it quite astonishing that the West Australian and its related West Media outlets keep pushing for the Roe 8 highway to be built when the McGowan Labor government received a clear mandate for scrapping the Perth Freight Link when it won the last WA election by a huge landslide.

While the West never forgets to remind us that the Federal Liberal government have a mandate because they won the recent election that does not appear to apply for Western Australian politics.

The Perth Freight Link was a failed concept that did not have a solution for the bottleneck in North Fremantle.  Recent articles and letters failed to acknowledge that according to Mainroads 90 per cent of vehicles using the PFL would be private vehicles, so it is wrong to suggest this was just going to be some kind of fast toll road for trucks to and from Fremantle Port.

Now that the new state government has established the Westport Taskforce to see what the best location for a new port might be it is highly premature for the West and state and federal Liberal politicians to keep pushing for Roe 8, 9, 10 and whatever. Let’s just wait and see what the recommendations of the task force are before spending billions of dollars on a highway extension that might not be needed.

The people voted against Roe 8 so the McGowan government has a mandate to not build it.

Roel Loopers

UNDERCURRENT 19 FREMANTLE BIENNALE OF SITE SPECIFIC ART

WATERLICHT by Daan Roosegarde

 

A massive hundred people from arts, culture and business attended the very long launch of the Fremantle Biennale 2019 at the Maritime Museum on Thursday morning.

UNDERCURRENT 19 will be a fantastic experience for the Fremantle community and beyond and is an invitation to interact with Fremantle through artistic dialogues and site sensitive events. It will create new visual narratives which articulate the spirit of place, so make sure to check out the program here: http://www.fremantlebiennale.com.au/undercurrent/

The biennale runs from November 1-24 and is happening all over the Freo CBD with major events at Fremantle Port and Notre Dame University, the Shipwrecks Museum, etc.

Nicola Forrest of sponsor Minderoo Foundation was at the launch, as was the CEO of Fremantle Ports, former MP Melissa Parke, the Fremantle Mayor and several councillors, artists, curators, architects, art administrators, etc.

Here some titles of exciting events during Undercurrent 19: Pearls and Blackbirds about female divers, Behavioral Ecology, the cute South Mole Resort will be a must to visit, Desire Lines, the Somnus theatre of the sea, Midnight Blue Lagoon. the Standing Wave sound installation in the submarine, Ebb&Flow audience communication, the Billboard Project, etc.

There will also be a symposium at Notre Dame University about how artists make a living.

One of the highlights of Undercurrent 19 will be WATERLICHT by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde about our battle with water, rising sea levels and dwindling fresh water.

Roosegarde said about rising ocean levels in the typical pragmatic and laconic Dutch way “We innovate or we die”

I loved the 2017 inaugural Fremantle Biennale so can’t wait for it to start in three months from now.

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE PORT FREIGHT ON RAIL RECORD

 

The WA State Government has announced that in April this year a record of 23.7 per cent of container freight to Fremantle Port was by rail and more than 20 per cent freight on rail in 2018-19. This equates to taking around 110.000 one-way truck movements off our roads

The substantial 30 per cent increase of freight by rail comes after the McGowan government raised the subsidy when it came into power.

Western Australia has the highest proportion of containers on rail in Australia, so that is a pretty good effort.

Experts believe that 30 per cent container freight on rail is achievable for Fremantle Port operations, but critics believe the noise the additional and longer container trains create in the west of Fremantle is a severe nuisance to local residents, who also complain about strong vibrations.

It is great though to get so many trucks off our roads, but a good balance needs to be achieved to try to keep everyone happy.

Roel Loopers

SOUTH WEST GROUP PRIORITIES

 

The South West Group has identified 11 major projects for the region that could be realised with the support of the federal, state and local governments.

The South West Group was established in 1983 to assist local councils to collaborate on significant projects. The group consists of Fremantle, East Fremantle, Cockburn, Melville, Kwinana and Rockingham councils.

The recently released brochure by the group is substantial, so I’ll add it as a pdf to this blog post, but here some of the projects the South West Group has identified:

  •  Fremantle to Cockburn transit line.
  •  Fremantle to Murdock transit line
  • Rockingham transit line
  • Canning Bridge Activity Centre Redevelopment
  • Western Trade Coast
  • Redevelopment of Victoria Quay at Fremantle Port
  • Kwinana Freeway and Tonkin Highway upgrades
  • Investment Attraction Plan
  • South West Region Tourist Network
  • South West Smart Region Initiatives

Proposal-for-Government-Investment-Parterships-lr

Roel Loopers

 

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WA CRUISE EXCHANGE GOOD FOR FREO TOURISM

Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseship, cruising, fremantle ports, tourism, travel, Uncategorized by freoview on July 24, 2019

 

I received this media statement from the State Government so will publish it in part here:

Representatives from Western Australia’s port destinations have a chance to pitch their business to major players from the cruise industry at an event to raise the profile of the State as a cruise shipping destination.

The WA Cruise Exchange (WACE), hosted by Tourism WA, has attracted representatives from eight global cruise lines to WA for workshops and networking opportunities.

A host of leading cruise lines including Carnival Australia, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Cruise and Maritime Voyages and Ponant are attending the 2019 exchange, along with first-time attendees, Silversea, Australian Pacific Touring, MSC Cruises and Crystal Cruises.

National travel group Journey Beyond has also joined the event for the first time. Their involvement confirms the growing popularity among interstate and overseas tourists for WA package holidays combining train and cruise ship travel.

The exchange gives cruise industry leaders a forum to meet with WA port destination representatives and learn about the exciting range of on-shore activities the State can offer their guests.

WA’s 11 port destinations of Fremantle; Esperance; Albany; Busselton; Bunbury; Geraldton; Exmouth; Dampier; Broome; Kuri Bay and Port Hedland are being represented at the event, as well as the peak body for Aboriginal tours and experiences in WA; WA Indigenous Tourism Operators Council.

Cruise representatives will also have an opportunity to visit some of the port destinations, including the Coral Coast and Burrup Peninsula, with the aim of including them in future itineraries.

They will also visit Albany, including a tour of the National Anzac Centre and Torndirrup National Park before watching an AFL game at Perth’s world-class Optus Stadium.

An inaugural WA itinerary has recently been confirmed by Crystal Cruises, with its newest cruise ship Crystal Endeavor scheduled to visit WA in April 2021, while Dampier is set to welcome two cruise ship visits from APT’s Caledonian Sky in 2020.

It is the fifth time WA has hosted the exchange, with the number of cruise lines taking part more than doubling since the inaugural event in 2013.

One would assume that the WA Cruise Exchange is held here in Fremantle but the media statement does not specify where it is held.

Roel Loopers

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HUGE MSC ELMA ARRIVES AT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on July 20, 2019

 

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One of the largest container vessels ever to arrive in Fremantle Port entered the harbour just before 5pm on Saturday afternoon. The 300-metre-long and 50-metre-wide MSC ELMA can carry nearly 9,600 containers.

She was escorted into port by three tug boats.

Roel Loopers

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