Freo's View

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

Comments Off on KWINANA PORT FORUM ON TODAY

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

Comments Off on THE PLANNING OF KWINANA PORT FORUM

UNION NOT HAPPY WITH KWINANA PORT

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle ports, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on August 24, 2017

 

Very interesting to read that the WA Labor State Government is clashing with the Maritime Union of Australia because of their commitment to build an outer harbour at Kwinana.

The MUA wants the WA government to delay the building of the new port, which experts say would take at least ten years to realise, because they fear the closure or part closure of Fremantle Ports would create job losses for port workers.

When one looks at the automation of other ports around the world it is highly likely that a new Kwinana port would also heavily rely on automation and would need fewer workers to do the wharf jobs.

The scrapping of the Roe 8 highway and the desire by the City of Fremantle to develop the south quay of the port means a new harbour is probably on the cards in the not too distant future.

But unions do have a huge influence in the Labor party, so nothing is certain until they have sorted out their differences.

 

Roel Loopers

FREMANTLE LIGHTRAIL NOT A PIPE DREAM

Posted in city of fremantle, lightrail, transport, Uncategorized by freoview on June 25, 2017

 

How nice to hear local councils in the Fremantle area working together for a change, instead of viewing each other as competition.

They could not agree on local government reform, council amalgamations and the Roe 8 highway, but now the South West Group of Cockburn, Fremantle, Melville, Kwinana, East Fremantle and Rockingham are planning ahead together for light rail, according to a report in today’s Sunday Times.

A Fremantle to Murdoch lightrail corridor is a high priority according to the report, but also a loop with Rockingham and the coast.

There is no doubt in my opinion that lightrail from Fremantle to Rockingham would be used extensively by locals and tourists alike and connect the two cities.

The South West Group report also considers lightrail from Fremantle to Canning Bridge and linking Cockburn and Fremantle.

Long-term planning by local councils for lightrail and traffic corridors is essential to pin point where new residential and commercial development should be encouraged so that planing schemes can be introduced to accommodate that.

Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt told the Sunday Times that local councils had a role to play in planning transit systems as they would need to rezone areas for transport hubs.

Lightrail has been on Fremantle’s wish list for a long time but low residential figures make it difficult to build a sound business case for it. However the development boom in Fremantle and Cockburn and along to coast to Rockingham is starting to make lightrail a very good option for the not too distant future, and we need to plan for that now.

Roel Loopers

 

CLIMATE CHANGE DANGER TO FREO’s HERITAGE AND COFFEE

Posted in city of fremantle, climate change, environment, global warming, western australia by freoview on August 30, 2016

A report on Channel Nine TV last night by Jane Grljusich painted a wet future for the west end of Fremantle where rising sea levels due to global warming will see many coastal properties disappear in the Indian Ocean unless seawalls are being built.

Grljusich talked about flooded cellars in the west of Fremantle that already require 24/7 pumping by the building owners.

The predicted higher ocean levels would see the Roundhouse become an island and even flooding of the Esplanade, so the state and federal governments need to become pro-active in making plans on how to protect Fremantle’s coast line and significant heritage area.

There is a Cockburn Sound Coastal Alliance where the cities of Fremantle, Cockburn, Kwinana and Rockingham work together and Fremantle Mayor Brad Pettitt told the TV reporter a plan will be released in a few weeks.

I have wondered for a long time why governments still allow so much development very close to the coast, as at Coogee for example, and wonder if insurance companies are still willing to insure properties in locations where rising seawater levels will create flooding and damage.

Are people naive or just don’t care that their expensive houses might get flooded or destroyed in 15-20 years from now, and what responsibility do governments have when releasing coastal land for development?

And to add insult too injury and make life even worse for us is a report from Brazil that climate change will cut coffee production by 50%, which no doubt will mean much higher prices for coffee in caffeine-mad Freo in the future.

Roel Loopers

SENATE WANTS PERTH FREIGHT LINK SCRAPPED

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link, western australia by freoview on May 4, 2016

A Senate Committee into the federal funding of the Perth Freight Link has recommended for the project to be abandoned and the funding from Canberra withdrawn.

According to the committee expert advise to them is that an outer harbour will be needed within ten years because Fremantle port will reach capacity much earlier than the State Government claims. The WA Treasurer said last week an outer harbour would only be needed in 25 years.

The Senate Committee claims that Fremantle port also will be unable to handle modern ships, so the need for the outer harbour at Kwinana is necessary.

I just wished I knew who we can believe as all the contradictory statements are not at all helpful, and there are of course great concerns about environmental issues in Cockburn Sound should an outer harbour be built there.

Is anyone looking as the possibility of moving more freight through Bunbury port and would that be a viable alternative? I have no idea, but would love to get factual information instead of political grandstanding.

If the Court of Appeal ruling comes out in favour of the WA Government just before the State election, should the Liberal/National party coalition still go ahead with Roe 8 and the PFL and sign multi millon dollar contracts, or should it be left to the new government to decide?

Roel Loopers

WA TREASURER: OUTER HARBOUR ONLY NEEDED IN 25 YEARS

Posted in fremantle, perth freight link, western australia by freoview on April 19, 2016

WA Treasurer Mike Nahan told the media today that the start of building the outer harbour at Kwinana was not needed in another 15 years. The government’s own estimates are that it would take ten years to build the port, so that would mean it would not open before 2040. That is an awfully long time away.

Top that with Transport Minister Dean Nalder saying that a new bridge or tunnel to connect the Perth Freight Link with Fremantle Port would not be constructed for another ten years and one realises the unacceptable planning mess this state is in.

The people of Fremantle, Melville, Cockburn and Kwinana, and other affected communities, expect better and more urgent solutions!

Roel Loopers

KWINANA OUTER HABOUR ESSENTIAL FOR WA ECOMONY

Posted in Uncategorized by freoview on April 17, 2016

An exclusive report by Joe Spagnolo in the Sunday Times today says a yet to be released report by the Perth and Peel Economic Development Strategy sees the development of the outer harbour as essential for the WA economy and that it would create a significant number of jobs in the region of up to 48,000.

The outer harbour is seen by the expert committee as game-changing and essential and the top priority for the region.

The PPEDS paper , to be released in June, makes no case for the Perth Freight Link but states that an extension of the inner harbour is not a viable option.

Roel Loopers

PERTH FREIGHT LINK NEW YEAR SOLUTIONS?

Posted in city of fremantle, perth freight link by freoview on December 30, 2015

pfl

 

Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt is on the job 24/7, even when on holiday in Esperance with his beautiful partner Emma, as today’s opinion piece in the West Australian newspaper shows.

Brad argues that the twin crisis of the WA State’s $ 3,1 billion budget deficit and the Supreme Court ruling about the invalidity of the Roe 8 highway gives the Barnett government the opportunity to reconsider its priorities and that the Property Council, Regional Development Australia, the Kwinana Industries Council and local councils Fremantle, East Fremantle, Kwinana, Cockburn and Armadale all want the Outer Harbour at Kwinana built as a priority.

Brad Pettitt writes the outer harbour has wide environmental and community support and that there would be direct and indirect employment for 75,000 people working on the project, which the government estimates would take up to 20 years to complete.

A very valid point the Freo Mayor makes is the excessive cost of the planned Perth Freight Link at an estimated cost for the tunnelled section of $ 4 million per 10 metres of road constructed. The entire 5.5 kilometre long PFL is estimated to cost between 400-500 million.

I think all points the Mayor raises are valid but we do know that the start of the outer harbour would not mean the end of Fremantle Port activity as the Kwinana port would only be an overflow port, so how would we deal with increased truck traffic to the inner city port without better road connectivity to it?

While everyone would like to see an increase on freight by rail the possible capacity for it is estimated to be only 30 per cent, which means more than 70 per cent of freight to Freo port would come by road.

The second point I want to make is the severe environmental impact on Cockburn Sound if an outer harbour is built and I doubt the environmental groups who oppose the Perth Freight Link would just sit back and let the Sound being negatively affected without protest.

It appears there are no solutions that will not have negative impacts on the environment and on affected communities and while Professor Peter Newman’s suggestion of putting it all on conveyor belts and underground might sound so simple one would have to ask what additional cost there would be for double handling of containers and if we would be prepared to pay more for imported goods to help protect the environment and our lifestyle.

There is no doubt the outer harbour will be needed in the not too distant future and that the Perth Freight Link planning has been an utter mess of incompetence, but there is the need to stop traffic chaos in North Fremantle and elsewhere in the immediate future.

While the concept of the PFL might be a federal government idea it will be counter productive to make it simply a political football where Labor, the Greens and environmental groups bash the Liberal Federal and State governments. It would be much better if they all connected in a think tank and try to find practical solutions instead of political grandstanding.

Roel Loopers

Comments Off on PERTH FREIGHT LINK NEW YEAR SOLUTIONS?

%d bloggers like this: