A RE-ELECTED Liberal Government would support a $110 million investment in a dedicated live export loading berth at Kwinana.
Premier Colin Barnett said the new facility, to be funded from the proceeds of the partial sale of Western Power, would be built close to Fremantle Port’s Kwinana Bulk Terminal.
“This will be a world-class dedicated livestock and fodder loading system that will quickly and efficiently turn ships around in the minimum of time, an important factor for the viability of our sheep and cattle producers,” Mr Barnett said.
“A Liberal Government will work with industry to foster joint investment in the new facility to ensure it best meets industry needs.”
Mr Barnett said the new facility would end the need to move sheep and cattle trucks through Fremantle to the north quay, overcoming community concern about noise, dust and smell.
“It would also allow Fremantle to capitalise on its growing attraction as a cruise ship destination and free up the use of berths 1 and 2 at the mouth of Fremantle Port’s inner harbour,” he said.
Mr Barnett said the preferred site was adjacent to the existing marine infrastructure at Kwinana Bulk Terminal and Kwinana Bulk Jetty, which will be able to utilise part of these structures for truck access to the livestock export facility.
It is envisioned that the final design will be for a new large long loading dock with a design water depth of 12.65m metres deep and a large truck turning apron to allow for the most efficient livestock truck fanning and the largest livestock carriers in the world.
Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the City rejected any proposal that did not consider the long-term strategic needs for the freight task of the state.
“Only sending live exports in isolation to Kwinana is a short term solution that would ultimately affect the construction of a world class container port like the one proposed for the Indian Ocean Gateway,” Councillor Adams said.
“This is a piecemeal approach which will only further fragment the freight task in WA, rather than consolidate it into an optimal economic position.”
Kwinana Labor MLA Roger Cook said Mr Barnett’s announcement was “another empty Liberal promise based on spending the proceeds of the sale of Western Power”.
“In May last year the Liberals were saying they would pay for this facility with the proceeds from privatising Fremantle Port,” Mr Cook said.
“They have no credibility on this issue.”
South Metropolitan Greens MLC Lynn MacLaren said the announcement was pitched to earn favour from shooters, fishers and farmers in the Liberal Party’s desperate bid for minor party preferences.
“The Greens oppose live exports and have proposed an alternative packaged meat trade which could create many jobs in rural areas,” Ms MacLaren said.
Agriculture Minister Mark Lewis said the Liberal-led Government had always been a strong supporter of the live export trade, recognising that WA markets demand high quality, disease free and humanely produced and shipped livestock.
“While chilled meat products are appropriate for some markets, many of the world’s most populous countries, which have the greatest need for meat, do not have a well-developed refrigerated distribution network,” Mr Lewis said.