Progress on planning for future trade industry needs

A progress report towards a State Government Strategy to identify a preferred network to fulfil the State’s port, trade and freight needs for the next 50 to 100 years has been released and is open for comment.

Of particular interest for the South West was discussion in this part one report around potential for introduction of containerised shipping at Bunbury Port.

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.

Part one identifies all the challenges for each of the three study areas at Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury and to supply the foundation which will inform the Westport taskforce’s work during its next stages.

In an overview of current containerised trade in WA, part one highlights the potential for introduction of containerised shipping at Bunbury because the Southern Ports Authority is planning an expanded port that could accommodate a large container terminal with an area of at least 50 hectares.

However there would also need to be infrastructure improvements including deepening of the port’s channels and turning basins and improvements to berths.

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.

Transport Minister Rita Saffioti said new trade forecast figures in this report confirmed that forward planning for a new port was 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,” she said.

“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.”

Dardanup Shire President Mick Bennett has a seat in the front row of the process towards developing the Wesport Strategy as a member of the Local Government Westport Working Group.

Cr Bennett was also Chairman of the Bunbury Geographe Growth Plan Partnership Steering Committee and through this role, has been able to provide input to the Wesport Working Group on the opportunities and capacity available at the Bunbury Port.

You can read and view the summary report here

Feedback on the report can be provided here until January 21, 2019.