Perth Freight Link: infrastructor advisor says port needs to be built in Kwinana

A concept of the Indian Ocean Gateway port at Kwinana.
A concept of the Indian Ocean Gateway port at Kwinana.

DALKEITH infrastructure advisor and Mainsheet Capital director Cameron Edwards said the western suburbs needs a second port, container hub and industrial park built in Kwinana.

“Developing Kwinana will remove road freight from travelling north up through Cottesloe, as they will in future go north along Tonkin Highway from a second port,” Mr Edwards, a former Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA infrastructure committee member, said.

A former investor at a European port’s industrial park, Mr Edwards advocates the Town of Kwinana’s 2015 Indian Ocean Gateway proposal battling the controversial Perth Freight Link (PFL) claimed to cost from $1.9 billion to more than $5.8 billion.

The PFL may treble Fremantle port containers to 2.1 million by 2038, creating fears of a similar increase in trucks through Cottesloe.

Last week, Mr Edwards told East Fremantle residents facing the PFL’s Roe 9 section that Gateway was estimated to generate about $42 billion annually, allowed waterfront tourism development of Fremantle port, reduced freight trains through Fremantle on its single line, less Leach Highway congestion and take dangerous goods off city roads.

Gateway estimated creating about 88,000 jobs, reducing costs from larger freight volumes and lower logistics prices, and bringing new industries to an industrial park during construction proposed from 2020.

Mr Edwards said funding for the new port’s $2.1 billion first stage could come from international investors and some Fremantle port land sales.

In 1996, former premier Richard Court approved the second port’s site but planning stalled after Premier Colin Barnett accepted former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s initial $920 million for PFL.

Questions to Transport Minister Bill Marmion were redirected to his previous statements, which said cancelling the PFL risked 3300 jobs, the current $1.2 billion in Federal funds and would keep trucks in southern suburbs.

Labor transport spokeswoman Rita Saffioti said, if elected, “immediate” second port planning would comprise environment studies, upgrades for Tonkin Highway, Anketell and Rowley roads and rail, and Infrastructure Australia would be “engaged” for Federal fund and “some” private financing considered.