Part one of a comprehensive and independent analysis and strategy for WA’s supply chain focused around the three port precincts at Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury, has been published.

The report will help plan for a new port in the region.

The first document, titled Westport: What we have found so far, is a progress report from the Westport Taskforce, communicating an overview for the Western Australian community of its extensive consultation and other work so far.

A final Westport: Ports and Environs Strategy, which will tackle key questions about the precise location, size, operating model and – importantly – the timing of a future port, will be delivered next year.

The purpose of this first report is to identify all the challenges for each of the three study areas at Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury, and to supply the foundation which will inform the taskforce’s work during its next stages.

WA Transport Minister, Rita Saffioti, said, Westport is conducting a comprehensive analysis of the whole supply chain focused around the three port precincts at Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury.

“This report lays out all of the constraints that have been raised at this ‘Problem Identification’ stage of the Infrastructure Australia-compliant assessment process.

“New trade forecast figures in this report confirm that forward planning for a new port is required.

“Ports are long-lived pieces of infrastructure that play a critical role in growing our economy and industry. We are focused on generating jobs for current and future generations.

“Without the ability to import enough of the household products we use and rely upon every day, future generations may suffer if we are short-sighted and don’t plan for our long-term requirements.

“I thank the numerous individuals and organisations who are contributing their time and expertise to the Westport Taskforce to produce the final report.”

The Westport Taskforce’s approach complies with Infrastructure Australia’s rigorous assessment process, meaning it can form part of a future assessment process should the opportunity arise for Commonwealth funding towards a future freight solution.

The process over the past year has been highly inclusive, involving extensive collaboration with more than 100 representatives from all levels of government, industry, unions, private enterprise, academia, environmental and community groups, who have contributed to the project’s various work streams.

Work is continuing and Stage Two of the process will investigate each option in detail, reducing them to a shortlist that will be analysed through a multi-criteria assessment.

The taskforce’s work will culminate in a preferred network solution covering port, road, rail and intermodal facilities across Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury at the end of next year.

Westport Taskforce independent chairperson, Nicole Lockwood, said, “The time required to design and construct a new port is extensive. It is prudent to plan early to allow a robust process and provide certainty to local residents and industry.

“Stage Two of the Westport process, which is now underway, will undertake a thorough analysis of the supply chain, commercial aspects, land, utilities and environmental impacts. This will determine the shortlist from the eight strategic options to put through our multi-criteria assessment, which will then highlight the best solutions.

“Westport has adopted the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure’s Working with Nature philosophy, which embeds environmental objectives into projects at the planning phase to achieve, where possible, net benefits and win-win outcomes by the end of construction.

“Westport: What we have found so far was developed in collaboration with the wider Westport Taskforce, which includes more than 80 organisations from all levels of government, industry bodies, private enterprise, research organisations and environmental and community groups.”

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