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Westport begins environmental assessment on new Kwinana port

Westport has recognised the EPA take the highest level of environmental assessment on the land designated for the proposed Kwinana port

The Western Australian government has announced that Westport has reached a significant milestone in the proposed development of the Kwinana port, with the marine and landside port infrastructure area being referred to the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to determine environmental assessment.

Westport’s document referring the port to the EPA includes the prompting of assessment of the port facilities that comprise an area of reclaimed land in Cockburn Sound, as well as connections to road and rail infrastructure in the Kwinana Industrial Area.

“Westport’s referral of the proposed marine infrastructure to the EPA is a significant milestone towards the long-term development of WA’s new container port, which is critical to support the future of WA,” WA transport minister Rita Saffioti says.

The EPA assessment will also look at a shipping channel into Cockburn Sound to accommodate larger container vessels expected in the future, as well as an offshore breakwater required to protect ships berthed at the proposed terminal.

The referral is the first step in the environmental impact assessment process, which is expected to take roughly two years.

The WA EPA is expected to publish the referral document and invite public comment on the level of assessment required.

Westport has requested that EPA undertakes the highest level of assessment – Public Environmental Review – due to the significance of the project to the state and the importance of environmental values in Cockburn Sound.

The environmental review is expected to be made available for public comment next year, with Main Roads submitting a separate referral to the EPA for upgrading Anketell Road to support freight requirements for the Western Trade Coast and the future Kwinana port.

“The WA government’s $13.5 million partnership with the WA Marine Science Institution is providing the most up-to-date marine science needed for Westport to deliver a robust environmental impact assessment, and has informed important decisions around infrastructure design to minimise environmental impact to the greatest extent possible,” Saffioti says.

“Westport continues to engage industry and the community, along with leading experts in engineering, marine science, sustainability and transport, to plan for a sustainable and efficient new port for Westport Australia.”

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