City attacks gateway plan: Cockburn

The Indian Ocean Gateway map, showing a proposed outer harbour.
The Indian Ocean Gateway map, showing a proposed outer harbour.

A DRAFT plan addressing Perth’s freight and trade infrastructure needs has been criticised by the City of Cockburn, which called for the council behind the document to withdraw it or remove all Cockburn land associated with the proposal.

In August the City of Kwinana released the Indian Ocean Gateway draft, which pointed to an outer harbour in Kwinana as a catalyst for creating billions of dollars in revenue and tens of thousands of new jobs. The plan extends beyond Kwinana to take in parts of Cockburn including Latitude 32, the Australian Marine Complex and some rural land.

Some Rockingham land was also included.

With discussions around the Perth Freight Link a hot topic, Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the Indian Ocean Gateway was the answer the community had been calling for.

“There has been much debate about what the best solution is to Perth’s long-term freight and trade infrastructure needs, but not much has been offered in the way of actual alternatives,” she said.

“That’s why we’ve released the Indian Ocean Gateway proposal – a strategic 50-year vision to encourage serious debate about providing a solution that delivers significant benefits and a substantial return on investment for all West Australians.”

Despite the City of Cockburn being in favour of an outer harbour, planning and development director Daniel Arndt said the draft plan was “more akin to an aspirational type marketing document” and did not reflect previous work undertaken by the city.

Mr Arndt said assumptions made by Kwinana about the capacity of Fremantle Port needed to be corrected, and called for further economic analysis to properly challenge previous conclusions reached by the State Government about the future of the port.

Mr Arndt also said the draft could not be considered a viable option because it was lacking environmental, social and community impact analysis.

“It (the Indian Ocean Gateway document) is underpinned by the absence of analysis, rigor, community engagement, stakeholder engagement, environment assessment or planning assessment,” he said.

“In the absence of such analysis, it presents potential economic, environmental and social impacts, which may threaten the notion of sustainable and socially responsible development.”