A Better Option for WA’s Freight Task

North Fremantle – The WA Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia delivered a report today to Parliamentarians on their contribution to the transparent Westport Taskforce process.

North Fremantle – The WA Branch of the Maritime Union of Australia delivered a report today to Parliamentarians on their contribution to the transparent Westport Taskforce process.
“Having been a part of the Westport process we have seen first-hand the attempts by special interest lobbyists to paint Government into a corner and unduly influence what was supposed to be a fact-based approach to planning our current and future port infrastructure needs” said the MUA WA Branch Deputy Secretary Adrian Evans.
“The open and transparent Westport process has been a valuable one and should be repeated in the future to ensure we stay on top of the freight and trade task for all of Western Australia. Looking at the current data it is clear: Fremantle has a long life as a port city. Moving container port operations at this time would be premature and result in added costs for all West Australians.”
As part of the Westport process the MUA sponsored a public forum on August 29th where the usually warring parties of business and unions joined their voices to the chorus of port and logistical experts saying that Fremantle is the best option to handle the growing trade needs of WA.
At the public forum both current port operators said with zero investment there was at least 20 years of life left at Fremantle Inner Harbour.
With modest improvements, such as the new crane delivered to DP World in September, Fremantle could easily handle our trade task until Perth has the population Sydney does today.
Highlights of the conclusions submitted to the Westport Taskforce:
• Continue supply chain efficiencies that have resulted in 580 less truck visits each day handling a 10% increase in trade at Fremantle Port between 2014-2017. This will ensure our growing trade task can be handled with the same number of trucks per hour on local roads.
• Fremantle Inner Harbour can handle the largest ships to call on any of Australia’s ports and the $250 million in recently completed upgrades means it can receive even larger ships in the future.
• Explore costal shipping as an option for freight with final destinations in the Pilbara and Kimberly.
• Reassess WA’s port needs every five years and commit to a full Westport process in 15 years.
• Give current port operators certainty to invest in their operations by converting the 2 seven-year options immediately following the tender process for an effective 21-year lease.
• With a crane rate of 36 movements per hour, Fremantle is the most efficient of Australia’s ports. Remove any requirement in port leases that would force stevedoring companies to automate their equipment before it is economically feasible to do so.