Freo's View

PUTTING YOUR LIFE ON THE FREO LINE

Posted in arthur head, city of fremantle, freight, tourism, trains, Uncategorized by freoview on April 8, 2018

 

stupidity

 

We should never underestimate the stupidity of our fellow human beings, as this photo I took this morning at 10am shows.

This group of young tourists literally put their life on the line by walking on the railway track, because the footpath at Arthur Head is closed due to rockfall danger.

It would have taken a panic run of about 100 metres to get to safety if a container freight train had come. Stupidity at its worst!

Roel Loopers

A ROUNDABOUT FOR FREIGHT TO PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on March 21, 2018

 

high-street-upgrade

 

This is the Fremantle High Street/Stirling Highway upgrade concept plan by Mainroads which will now go through a community consultation process.

Already there have been concerns expressed about pedestrian safety, parking for netball, FERN, the golf course, etc. so it is still a work in progress.

I’ll keep you up to date about any future community meetings set up by Mainroads so that you can have your say.

Roel Loopers

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NEW PUBLIC DEBATE ON ROE 8

 

 

The announcement by WA Premier Mark McGowan about the Fremantle High Street upgrade has resurrected the debate about the canceled Perth Freight Link and Roe 8 highway.

There have been quite a few letters in the West Australian in support of Roe 8 and the PFL and there was an opinion piece by Liza Harvey MLA, who was the deputy premier of the previous government under Colin Barnett.

It is very intriguing to note that Liza Harvey now suddenly writes there would be other options for the McGowan government to consider than going through the Beeliar wetlands. If that is the case, why did the former Liberal/National state government not consider those options but instead, and in spite, decided to start the demolition of the wetlands, although all the indications were that they would be kicked out of government. Liza Harvey’s hypocrisy is unbelievable.

Fact is also that the Perth Freight Link was not exclusively for freight and trucks, as some letter writers claim and that it actually did not go to Fremantle Port but finished at Stirling Highway. A part solution really was no solution. Ask North Freo residents!

The new plans are not ideal either as they don’t address pedestrian crossing adequately and while I do like roundabouts I don’t like that so many Perth motorists don’t seem to know how to use them, so that could become a problem.

Freight trucks have overturned in the past at the intersection of High Street and Stirling Highway because of taking the corner at excessive speed, a roundabout won’t fix that problem either.

A new outer harbour is still a very long way away and freight to the port will no doubt increase, so when is the state government going to address more freight by rail?

Roel Loopers

HIGH STREET UPGRADE FINALLY-MAYBE.

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle port, Uncategorized, western australia by freoview on March 6, 2018

 

High St_medium

 

Premier Mark McGowan and Transport Minister Rita Saffioti today unveiled a proposal for the widening of High Street, between Stirling Highway and Carrington Street, to improve safety and address peak hour congestion in the area.

The draft concept plans, which will now be taken to the community for feedback, include a roundabout at the Stirling Highway intersection; a wide median to separate traffic and preserve a number of mature trees; and a single-lane service road for residents north of High Street.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said it appeared the message provided by the public that previous models were overly intrusive and expensive had been heard.

“Our community wants to see reduced noise and pollution, and improved safety for motorists and pedestrians, as well as those living along High Street and users of the nearby Frank Gibson Park netball courts.

“We are also keen to ensure the upgrade provides a suitable sense of ‘arrival’ and welcome at what is a key gateway into Fremantle.”

Mayor Pettitt said the City would play a partnership role with the State Government and Main Roads to ensure local stakeholders including members and officials of the nearby Fremantle Public Golf Course, High Street residents and the broader community were consulted closely during the process to develop and finalise the upgrade design.

COMMENT:

This is promising news but it is disappointing that the WA Government Media department still has not reached the 2000s and acknowledges the importance of blogs such as Freo’s View.

I have often and in detail reported about all the plans by the former government and the news that suddenly the High Street upgrade was scrapped for a tunnel to nowhere.

Neither the Premier’s media people, nor those of our local representatives Josh Wilson MP and  Minister Simone McGurk, or the City of Fremantle flak catchers bothered to inform me. I need an emoji with a one finger salute! ; >)

Roel Loopers

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HIGHER SUBSIDY FOR FREO PORT FREIGHT BY RAIL

Posted in city of fremantle, freight, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on December 28, 2017

 

containers 2

 

In an effort to get more freight on rail and fewer trucks on the road Transport Minister Rita Saffioto has announced that the WA state government will increase the rail subsidy for freight operators to Fremantle Port, to rise from $ 30 to $ 50 per twenty-foot container.

This is the result of the cancellation of the Perth Freight Link by the new Labor government.

The minister said the subsidy would be paid for all loaded containers that move between North Quay Rail Terminal, Forresfield and Kwinana, as well as for containers filled with hay that are received by rail at NQRT for export.

“The rail service plays a significant role in achieving greater efficiency in the container supply chain as well as improving community amenity and environmental benefits along metropolitan roads that link to Fremantle Port,” Saffioti said.

The state government has also formed the Westport taskforce that will investigate a new outer harbour at Kwinana and related issues..

Roel Loopers

A NEW PORT OR A PIPE DREAM?

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on November 20, 2017

 

The outer harbour forum at Fremantle Victoria Hall was an interesting event and the hall was packed full, so there is clearly strong community interest in finding solutions for a better way on how WA deals with freight and port related transport and issues.

I was impressed with the presentation of Nicole Lockwood, the independent chair of the newly created WESTPORT.

She said the Kwinana outer harbour and issues related with it would be one of the longest planning exercises in WA, as the outcome would be looking after the State’s freight for the next 50-100 years.

The reference group was very broad and inclusive and relied on participation, input and ideas from all levels of the industries, government departments and community.

It is about planning a modern port, land and transport plans, assessing commercial aspects, identifying industrial opportunities, and maximising compatibility.

There is huge land access at Kwinana and Bunbury that can be utilised.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt said it was good to have a rational conversation on how to transition part of the port activity to Kwinana as there is an opportunity to rethink the south side of the harbour.

There needs to be a better port to city connection and either upgrade the passenger terminal or build a new one further west with better access to the city.

Pettitt said Fremantle Council wanted to keep Fremantle as a working port as long as possible.

Infrastructure advisor Cameron Edwards said WA needed to offer a competitive international product and that a new outer harbour would create significant value to pay off the State’s debt.

Fremantle Port was a ‘stranded asset’ and the rail link under-utilised. Kwinana would be able to handle much longer trains than Fremantle, where the maximum length is only 690 metres.

The creation of a large industrial park and special economic trading zone at Kwinana would stimulate the WA economy. Kwinana is where the money is and that has significant advantage, Edwards said.

Fremantle deserves world-class facilities and there are great examples around the world how well we can rejuvenate old ports.

A new port would create 18,000 new jobs while the status quo would not create any new jobs.

Professor Phil Jennings spoke at length about serious environmental problems in Cockburn Sound in the past and that there are still areas where seagrass is dying and the pollution is bad, but with proper conditions and management in place the outer harbour could be acceptable.

Professor Peter Newman said we should create Lithium Valley at Kwinana as we have already eight lithium mines in WA and it is a growth industry. We should not just be exporting our lithium though but build the batteries here in WA.

Nicole Lockwood said it was going to be a huge jigsaw puzzle and a dynamic exercise to understand the constraints and opportunities of a new outer harbour.

I walked away wondering how realistic all this is, as we just had Fremantle Port wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars planning for the sale of the port, now the new Labor government is changing that all around with absolutely no guarantee that a future Liberal government will not scrap the plans again.

The reality will be that the construction of an outer harbour will not start in the next ten years because Fremantle Port is not anywhere near capacity and WA is broke. The ‘overflow port’ won’t really be needed for another 15-20 years. 

Building lithium batteries in WA is highly unrealistic because labour costs here are far too high to be internationally competitive.

And keeping a working port at North Quay while developing Victoria Quay is unfortunately also unrealistic because of the buffer zones at the port and safety and security issues. That means there can’t be residential or hotel development, so all that could be done is commercial activity of retail and offices.

While strategic long-term planning for our state is important it is essential to be extremely realistic about what can be achieved and what will remain just another pipedream.

 

Roel Loopers

KWINANA PORT FORUM ON TODAY

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on November 20, 2017

 

There is a forum on the planning of a Kwinana Port TODAY, November 20 at Victoria Hall in Fremantle. It is on from 7pm-9.30pm.

The Kwinana Outer Harbour has been in the pipeline for over twenty years and was the solution to freight hitting Fremantle long before the Perth Freight Link was dreamed up. The new Westport Task Force was recently formed by the State Government to finally make it a reality.

Nicole Lockwood, Chair of Westport will talk of her plans,  and Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt will speak on the opportunities this opens up for Fremantle.

Infrastructure adviser Cameron Edwards will speak on why a Kwinana port will lead to jobs growth and massive economic potential for WA, Professor Philip Jennings on the environmental considerations, and Professor Peter Newman on transport planning and why this all makes sense.

A Q&A will follow presentations.

The Western Harbours Alliance purpose is to help establish new partnerships between community, government and business to create the opportunities and overcome the barriers to building a new 21st century port in the Perth Metropolitan Region, bringing great economic, employment and social benefits for the people of Western Australia. WHA is a member of the Westport Reference Group.

http://www.westernharboursalliance.com

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THE PLANNING OF KWINANA PORT FORUM

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, perth freight link, Uncategorized by freoview on November 17, 2017

 

PFL protest

 

There is a forum on the planning of a Kwinana Port this coming Monday, November 20 at Victoria Hall in Fremantle. It is on from 7pm-9.30 pm.

The Kwinana Outer Harbour has been in the pipeline for over twenty years and was the solution to freight hitting Fremantle long before the Perth Freight Link was dreamed up. The new Westport Task Force was recently formed by the State Government to finally make it a reality. 

Nicole Lockwood, Chair of Westport will talk of her plans,  and Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt will speak on the opportunities this opens up for Fremantle.

Infrastructure adviser Cameron Edwards will speak on why a Kwinana port will lead to jobs growth and massive economic potential for WA, Professor Philip Jennings on the environmental considerations, and Professor Peter Newman on transport planning and why this all makes sense.

A Q&A will follow presentations.

The Western Harbours Alliance purpose is to help establish new partnerships between community, government and business to create the opportunities and overcome the barriers to building a new 21st century port in the Perth Metropolitan Region, bringing great economic, employment and social benefits for the people of Western Australia. WHA is a member of the Westport Reference Group.

http://www.westernharboursalliance.com

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UNION TRUTH ABOUT FREMANTLE PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, containers, freight, fremantle ports, Uncategorized by freoview on August 29, 2017

 

I was given a copy of an eight-page flyer The Truth About The Flawed Outer Harbour Plan, written by the Maritime Union of Australia WA Branch secretary and National President Christy Cain.

It’s always good to try to see all sides of an argument, so let’s have a look at the facts the MUA published in the leaflet.

# The MUA claims that Fremantle Port is only running at 50% capacity and that there is no need for a premature costly duplication of the port at Kwinana.

# The MUA supports the long-term vision of an overflow port at Kwinana when it is needed, but say it is not needed yet, and that the volume at Fremantle Port has been falling for some time.

# The proposed cap on Fremantle Port is lower than the current volume and would be anticompetitive, the union claims. It would prevent the current terminal operators to grow.

# 90% of containers to and from the port are on the road between 6am-6pm Monday to Friday. The port operates 24/7 but nearly all containers are handled in just 35% of all the hours available.

# Better coordination of road transport, plus general decline in volume has seen a 11% reduction in truck visits to Fremantle Port over the last two years.

# Rail is underutilised as is handles only 14.5% of containers, while it is designed to carry 30% of container traffic.

# The MUA says that if the outer harbour was built now, 20-30 years before it is needed, it would add $ 10 billion to the construction cost, making it a $ 15-16 billion dollar dud, that would cause a dramatic increase to freight costs.

# Fremantle Port supports 2,000 direct employees and an estimated total workforce of 6,000 direct and indirect employees servicing the port.

# The outer harbour would be automated and would have less jobs than Fremantle Port.

# Government Treasury predicts another 25 years of growth potential for Fremantle Port. It stated that artificial capping would result in earlier capital investment in the Outer Harbour and related road and rail infrastructure-imposing an unnecessary financial burden on the WA Government, container trades and the community.

If you have any questions it is best to contact the MUA as I won’t have the answers.

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE CITY TO ADJUST SPEEDHUMPS

Posted in city of fremantle, local government, traffic, Uncategorized by freoview on July 11, 2017

Although the recently installed speedhumps in Fremantle were installed after extensive community consultation and City of Fremantle liaison with the WA Mainroads Department, some adjustments will be made after members of the community objected to the number of traffic calming devices and the height of some.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt just announced the adjustments that will be made immediately:

Ord Street, Fremantle

At Ord Street the intention of the traffic calming was to improve pedestrian safety at crossing points for the Arts Centre patrons and High School students and also to deter container trucks and heavy vehicles to the Fremantle Port using Hampton Road as a short-cut.

After receiving community feedback, the  City has reassessed the installation and has arranged for the angle of the speed humps to be softened and also two of the central sets of speed humps (not directly associated with the pedestrian crossings) to be removed.

Wray Avenue, Fremantle

At Wray Avenue, the idea was to slow traffic as this was a major cycle route and the original design included treatment at five locations. Unfortunately while this was reduced following community consultation the original design was installed in error. As a result two of the speed humps will now be removed but there will be enough to keep speeds down we believe.

South Terrace, South Fremantle

South Terrace has been subject to traffic, road and streetscape improvement discussions for some time, with local residents and business owners keen to see progress in the area.

The City has commenced a program of works to start improving the road environment. The current batch of speed bumps were installed as SHORT TERM TREATMENT to calm traffic and assist in the creation of a target 40km/hr speed environment. This initial phase is in preparation for a series of permanent raised pedestrian platforms at key intersections along South Terrace.

The first of these platforms is being planned for installation at the intersection of Little Lefroy & South Terrace within this financial year. As you may be aware this was a key point where the community wanted to see traffic slowed and crossing made safer.

The City accepts there now are too many speed bumps along South Tce and some aren’t at a key nodes as envisaged. So in response to community feedback will reduce the number of these temporary speed bumps from 15 locations to 10 locations. The removal of speed humps at five locations has been planned to try and ensure the intent of the traffic calming and slowing along South Tce remains.

Officers will also address the effectiveness of the treatments by adjusting the width of coverage to reduce the incidence of motorists swerving to avoid the speed humps.

 

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