Bunbury Port an option to share container burden

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Photo: Courtesy of Bunbury Port Authority.
Camera IconPhoto: Courtesy of Bunbury Port Authority. Credit: Bunbury Port Authority

The potential for Bunbury’s port to be used for container operations to take the burden off Fremantle has been raised in the State Government’s Westport progress report.

The report released on Wednesday follows the completion of stage one and outlines the constraints faced at Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury ports.

It presents eight options to restructure how the burden of container, bulk goods and passenger vessel operations can be shared between the three ports.

Westport Taskforce independent chairwoman Nicole Lockwood said the report would continue to examine the options of how to balance trade between the ports.

“Bunbury features in all of those options in varying ways,” she said.

“What we need to understand is the role of Bunbury – is it about growing the port to support the local economy and population or is it about Bunbury playing an overall part in the supply chain for Perth.”

Three of the options include container operation being moved at least partially to Bunbury, while a fourth option will examine a transition to Kwinana and then a long-term transition to Bunbury.

Bunbury’s port would continue to handle bulk goods and passenger vessels in all eight options.

“What we are doing now is trying to understand the costs involved so that we can have it as part of the overall port structure of the metro area,” Ms Lockwood said.

“We need to understand from a port function point of view, from a supply chain point of view, from a land availability point of view and an environmental point of view how each option stacks up.

“It will then be a process to create a shortlist to move from eight options down to three or four and they’ll be put through a very thorough assessment.”

Feedback is being sought on the report until January 21.

A second report will be released in February outlining the criteria that will be used to assess the options and the middle of the year will be targeted for the release of a draft strategy plan.

The eight options for container operation which will be further assessed in the next stage of the report:

  1. Current situation – regarded as the base case
  2. Optimise Fremantle and transition containers to Kwinana over time, with an option to transition them to Bunbury in the long-term
  3. Optimise Fremantle and transition containers to Bunbury over time with no containers in Kwinana
  4. De-industrialise Fremantle and move containers to Kwinana as soon as possible
  5. De-industrialise Fremantle and move containers to Bunbury as soon as possible
  6. Fremantle and Kwinana both have containers for the long-term
  7. Fremantle and Bunbury both have containers for the long-term
  8. Only Fremantle has containers for the long-term

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails