Indian Ocean Gateway flak

Indian Ocean Gateway map.
Indian Ocean Gateway map.

THE City of Kwinana�s new Indian Ocean Gateway proposal copped criticism from State and local government levels this week.

Affected councils claim they did not see the document before its release late last week, yet the Kwinana Industries Council board gave its support last Wednesday last week with one abstention.

The KIC board includes key member representatives, including Fremantle Ports.

Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams told the Courier the proposal was born from a July workshop that focussed on the Kwinana Industrial Area.

It became apparent the key issue for the KIA and indeed the State, she said, was the need to construct the Outer Harbour as soon as possible.

She said the proposal was a �living document� with its own website for anyone to provide feedback.

�It�s really a win-win situation for investors and the WA economy. Naturally a shift of focus to include the Outer Harbour raises questions as to the relevance of the Perth Freight Link and we encourage all feedback and discussion on the issue.�

The timing of the document appears to be influenced by State preparations to advertise the sale of the Fremantle Port, and a Liberal Party breakfast held Saturday to which the Courier understands copies of the proposal were taken.

The City of Cockburn and the City of Rockingham expressed concern because the IOG site affects their land.

At Tuesday�s council meeting, Rockingham councillor Matthew Whitfield said proposal wants the one small envelope of industrial land in Rockingham.

�They also want a heavy freight road though the City of Rockingham and have a heavy freight train operating 24 hours a day, which will affect our residents,� he said.

�I am hopeful that the authors of this document will see the light and revisit some of the facts in it because it really is a disturbing document,� fellow councillor Leigh Liley said.

City of Cockburn chief executive Stephen Cain said the city would bring the proposal to a future council meeting but it was consulting first with the City of Rockingham.

Questions directed to Premier Colin Barnett about the viability of the plan, which proposes a condition on the tender for sale of Fremantle to build the $3.2 billion Outer Harbour within 10 years, were redirected to Treasurer Mike Nahan and Transport Minister Dean Nalder.

Opposition Ports Spokesman Bill Johnston said the source of funding proposed by Kwinana�s document was �unrealistic� because the condition was a disincentive for sale.

Any buyer of the Fremantle Port would want to delay the Outer Harbour as long as possible, he said.

KIC�s Chris Oughton defended the proposed tender condition saying: �Its not rocket science, it is how business is done all over the world.�

He knew of informal expressions of interest for such a tender arrangement.

�The issue here is that the private sector is willing to step up to do this because it is a sensible business proposition.�

The IOG document suggests a heavy haulage toll to help the State Government recoup costs for road investments that would be required to service the Outer Harbour.

Mr Nahan said a due diligence process was being followed regarding Fremantle Port then a detailed report was expected to be presented to Government in December.

He said the government was prioritising and pursing the interests of all West Australians on the divestment matter.

Transport Minister Dean Nalder said the Fremantle�s Inner Harbour was expected to operate as a working port into the long term, and acknowledged the Outer Harbour was needed in Kwinana once Fremantle reached capacity.

INDIAN OCEAN GATEWAY PROPOSAL:

– Outer Harbour: $2 billion Stage 1 in five years, $1.2 billion Stage 2 in 10 years

– Annual revenue $42.4 billion

– Direct jobs 13,757; indirect 49,657

– Freight links to be along Rowley and Anketell to the Freeway, Tonkin and South West highways

– Intermodal facility to be adjacent to the new port not Wattleup

– City of Kwinana to lead governance of the IOG site

– Push for harbour to be built immediately

– Buffer protection from urbanisation

– The proposal is a consultative draft

– Visit indianoceangateway.com.au/ to view and give feedback