FEDERAL Labor has committed to kicking in $2 million to an outer port in Kwinana should they gain power at July’s election.
Anthony Albanese was joined by Labor candidates for Brand and Fremantle, Madeleine King and Josh Wilson as well as WA Labor leader Mark McGowan at Naval Base this morning for the announcement.
Mr Albanese said the $2 million commitment was to take the existing plans through to submission to Infrastructure Australia.
The location of WA’s next harbour has been the subject of much debate with the State Liberal government favouring connecting Fremantle Harbour to existing road networks while Labor along with several other stakeholders, including the City of Kwinana, favour a new harbour.
The State Government hit a snag with its Roe 8 proposal last December when the Supreme Court invalidated its approval for the project.
Ms King said the commitment was an exciting one for the cities of Rockingham and Kwinana.
“Labor’s support for a Kwinana outer harbour ticks all the boxes,” she said.
“It will help grow the local, state and national economies, it will create long term jobs, it will encourage innovation through the application of modern technology to port operations and it puts people first by supporting a sustainable industrial base to underpin the flourishing communities in Brand.”
Mr Albanese, the shadow minister for infrastructure, said it was important that the project gets underway and only Labor had committed to make it happen.
“It’s absolutely critical that this project go ahead,” he said.
“It’ll be important for creating jobs in the short term but also for the economic activity in the long term.”
The member for Grayndler said Federal Labor would “absolutely” commit to making a contribution to the construction of the harbour once it went through the planning process, but gave no indication of how much that might be.
“The way that good infrastructure goes about is you do the planning first, you get the planning right then you commit the funds based upon a business case being presented,” he said.
City of Kwinana mayor Carol Adams hailed the funding commitment as a step forward.
“We congratulate Labor for making the outer harbour a key election promise. Clearly this demonstrates how crucial the issue is to WA’s social and economic wellbeing,” she said.
“Throughout all of the conversations we’ve had there has been overwhelming support for the outer harbour, especially when we talk about the tens of thousands of jobs that it will provide over the next 50 years.
“Representatives across all levels and parties of government, the private sector and the community at large understand the outer harbour is key to reinvigorating WA’s economy and future-proofing it for decades to come.”
The City of Rockingham and Liberal member for Brand Craig Buchanan have been contacted for comment.