KWINANA Mayor Carol Adams stands by claims any new outer port could have almost 90,000 jobs – the creation of which will be discussed at the second Western Harbours Alliance (WHA) public forum on January 29.
Ms Adams said a 2013 Sinclair Knight Merz and Western Trade Coast Industries Committee report showed land near Kwinana’s coast now employed 13,757 directly and created another 18,274 jobs.
“Using these employment figures as a baseline, and knowing that the land on the coast is 36.8 per cent utilised, it is estimated that once the industrial area is built out and the land is 100 per cent used this would generate 37,383 direct jobs, 49,657 indirect, and 87,040 in total,” she said.
Last September, after the collapse of the controversial $1.6 billion Perth Freight Link, the State Government created a taskforce to report on the viability of an outer port in 18 months.
At the first forum in Fremantle in November, a packed public hall heard outer port supporters say WA was missing out on the efficiencies of a modern port away from the Swan River’s entrance.
It was claimed an outer port would support growth in lithium, horticulture and agriculture industries, while also servicing increasingly large container ships whose truck-borne cargoes would be handled by the planned 1400ha Latitude 32 transfer station in Hope Valley.
Ms Adams said her council had talked with “many” transport, logistics, manufacturing and agricultural industries that agreed a new port in Kwinana will allow then to compete globally.
However, there are concerns dredging, wharves and infrastructure would damage Cockburn Sound if a port was built at any of two likely sites south of the Henderson shipyards.
“The City of Kwinana’s proposal for a land-backed port has less environmental impact than an island-based port and will not destroy 400 ha of sea grass, and all environmental aspects will be fully considered as part of the Westport Taskforce process,” Ms Adams said.
Next Monday, Tianqi Lithium Australia general manager Phil Thick will talk about building a lithium factory in Kwinana, former Mandurah mayor and Peel Development Commission chief Paddi Creevey will discuss the regional need for a new port, and 360 Environmental director Michelle Rhodes will tackle environmental concerns.
Taskforce chair Nicole Lockwood will update the public on its work, which currently comprises collecting any missed aspects for planning for ports, their logistics, environmental and lifestyle issues until May.
The taskforce met community and industry groups, and councils, comprising its reference group in December.
Doors open at Jackman Hall, Chisholm Avenue, Kwinana, at 6.30pm, for a 7pm start, on January 29.
Bookings are essential at www.eventbrite.com.au.