WA backs Westport Taskforce final report on new port

Kwinana said to have space to grow and scope for efficient truck access

WA backs Westport Taskforce final report on new port
Site of the new port at Kwinana


The Westport Taskforce has released findings backed by the Western Australian government that Perth’s new container port be built at Kwinana.

Interestingly, the state government has resisted the trend of the previous decade to privatise the new port.

The final report has recommended a land-backed port be built within the Kwinana Industrial Area.

With roads to the present port in Fremantle mired in controversy and confrontation for years, the report is at pains to spruik the new port’s freight links.

"Good connectivity of the Restricted Access Vehicle (RAV) network between the port and industrial areas is critical to ensuring efficient containerised road freight supply chains," the report states.

"Kwinana is serviced by several east-west links which connect the Western Trade Coast through to the areas around Armadale and Byford, as well as Tonkin Highway and the South Western Highway.

"The primary links servicing this area are Anketell Road, Rowley Road and Thomas Road. As the Outer Harbour and Western Trade Coast develop and expand over the coming years, these east-west connections will become increasingly critical to the long-term operations of the State’s freight and logistics sectors.

"These east-west links have been preserved enough to present a unique opportunity to construct a major freight route that extends from the port gate in Kwinana through to Muchea in the north or Bunbury in the south.

"This freight route could be constructed along the Anketell Road corridor – or the Rowley Road corridor as an alternative or additional route if necessary – linking port Options B or D2 from the Kwinana coast directly through to Tonkin Highway in the east."

Anketell Road is the preferred option and the port will also be supported by an enhanced rail network and new intermodal terminals.

the Westport Taskforce makes five points in support of the Kwinana freight route approaches:

  • the unencumbered road corridor would allow trucks to travel at consistent speeds without the need for braking, saving on fuel and improving efficiency, while alleviating some noise concerns for residents along the Fremantle freight roads. Better efficiency ultimately would mean improved reliability, reduced transport times and decreased supply chain costs – delivering savings to businesses and consumers
  • the Anketell/Tonkin freight route skirts around the metropolitan area, shifting trucks out of congested urban areas. This would result in much less interaction between trucks and cars, with improved safety and efficiency outcomes for all road users
  • trucks could exit the road at numerous points along the way, so they were not locked into one end destination as they would be with a tunnel. Both Rowley and Anketell Roads connect to other primary freight routes, including the Fremantle Rockingham Controlled Access Highway, Kwinana Freeway and Tonkin Highway
  • the freight route design would prevent some of the current issues experienced on Leach Highway, such as residential driveways, turning vehicles and intersections
  • the corridor could enable future trucking trends, such as automated platooning, to be considered.

 Read about GrainCorp’s Kwinana bulk liquids facility plan, here

"It is imperative that we plan for Perth's long-term future, beyond the capacity limits of Fremantle Port and its road and rail links," premier Mark McGowan says.

"Fremantle Port has served our state for the last one hundred years, it's now time to plan and build the next big piece of economic infrastructure that sets our State up for the next century.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime project, it's time to get on with it and unlock WA's future."

Work will now proceed to determine the timetable of transitioning freight from Fremantle Port to Kwinana, the government says.

The transition will occur either in one step by 2032 or over a phased period that will see both ports share the freight task for around a further 15 years.

"Kwinana has been recognised as the logical location for a new container port for decades, with its existing industrial strip and room for expansion and development," ports minister Alannah MacTiernan says. 

"We must now move ahead over the next four years and build the case for investment: detailed environmental assessments, detailed port and supply chain design, thorough costings and ongoing engagement with industry and the community.

"Western Australia's new port will be a 21st century facility, embracing the latest in port design to create the capability to take the world's largest ships, and new technology to increase efficiency and reduce environmental impacts."

Government has allocated $97.2 million to progress on the recommended options, to be managed by a new Westport Office established in the Department of Transport.

That work is to prioritise:

  • assessing and mitigating environmental impacts
  • protecting land for future port and supply chain connections
  • detailed port, road and rail design
  • developing a business case for consideration by Infrastructure Australia. 

The Westport Taskforce's final report is available here.


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