Freo's View

ARRIVAL AT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseship, fremantle ports, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 20, 2019

 

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Getting up at 4.30am for the arrival of the Sea Princess meant I had time on my hands, even after coffee and browsing through the Sunday Times at Chalkys cafe, so I went to the Passenger Terminal of Fremantle Port and took some snaps of the few passengers who were out and about early.

Roel Loopers

FIRST CRUISESHIP ARRIVES IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseliners, cruises, fremantle ports, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 20, 2019

 

Sea Princess

 

The Sea Princess, the first cruiseliner of the summer season, arrived in Fremantle at 5.30am this morning on an overcast day, with 1,800 passengers on board. She will depart at 11pm this evening.

Princess Cruises announced earlier this year that it has 141-day deployment in Fremantle this season with a total of 29 cruise ships carrying 64,000 passengers.

The cruise industry contributes $ 276 million to the Western Australian economy.

Welcome to Freo Sea Princess passengers and crew!

Roel Loopers

BEAUTIFUL MORNING AT FREMANTLE PORT

 

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As everyone who reads Freo’s View should know by now I absolutely love the working Fremantle Port, so when I got there this morning for my Saturday morning coffee with my mate Henty at the Express Cafe at B Shed I just had to take photos of the departing container ship just before 7am.

There were heaps of young people on their way to Rottnest Island which always makes me feel I am on holiday.

Roel Loopers

A SHED PORT DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITY

 

 

Fremantle Ports is looking for Expressions of Interest to develop historic A Shed, which is next door to the very popular Maritime Museum on Victoria Quay.

A Shed offers a great location in Fremantle with stunning sunsets and harbour views and all the excitement that comes with an active working port.

If they want a retired photographer in residence I’ll put my hand up and volunteer to live there till I move to Fremantle cemetery¬† ; >)

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE PORTS WANT A SHED ACTIVATION

Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseliners, development, fremantle ports, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on October 9, 2019

 

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Fremantle Ports is looking for Expressions of Interest for the redevelopment of historic A Shed on Victoria Quay.

The 2,225 sqm building is the closest one to the very popular Maritime Museum and a short walk to the B Shed Rottnest Island ferry terminal, so perfect for tourist and leisure orientated development.

I am really happy that Fremantle Port finally wants to reactivate A Shed as it has been forlorn and neglected for far too long.

EOI close on November 29 so don’t miss out to make A Shed great again.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on FREMANTLE PORTS WANT A SHED ACTIVATION

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

IS VICTORIA QUAY DEVELOPMENT GOOD FOR FREMANTLE?

 

Fremantle Council wants the working port to continue for as long as possible but it also wants development all along Victoria Quay, and those South Quay plans are now investigated by the WA government, but will development on Victoria Quay benefit Fremantle or compete with inner city development?

A working port means that the buffer zones around the port do not allow for residential development or a hotel, so all we would be getting at VQ is commercial development of office, retail and hospitality space, as the three suggestions by CODA showed, when this went through a lengthy community consultation process some years ago.

Will it really be good for Fremantle to have competing development at the port when it will be a challenge to fill the new commercial accommodation that will come on line soon in the CBD, and will the City of Fremantle receive council rates from any development within the Fremantle Ports boundaries, or will we have many more buildings that don’t contribute to the City’s coffers?

Any new development at VQ will no doubt have a substantial hospitality component where people can enjoy harbour views and sunsets while dining out or having a drink, and that will mean that the City’s safety rangers will have more work, or would the Port have their own security to police that?

I believe that any development at Victoria Quay should come under the jurisdiction of the City of Fremantle and building owners should pay council rates, as our city needs the extra income much more than Fremantle Ports do.

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

MUA WANTS FREMANTLE PORT TO STAY

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, state government, Uncategorized, unions by freoview on September 18, 2019

 

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The Maritime Union of Australia-MUA protested early this morning outside the office of Member for Fremantle Simone McGurk in Fremantle’s Market Street.

The MUA is not at al happy that the state government has been investigating through the Westport Taskforce what the future of Fremantle Port will be, with the preferred option a move to a new port at Kwinana.

The loud protest heard MUA branch secretary Chris Cain warn Simone McGurk that she will be gone at the next election.

The MUA is clearly worried about wharfies losing jobs at an automated new port, but the reality is that even if the state government decides to build a very expensive new port in Cockburn Sound it will take at least 15 years for it to be realised and replace our Freo port.

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

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