Port investment is the key: Brennan

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times
Bunbury Port has been left off the Westport Taskforce short list.
Camera IconBunbury Port has been left off the Westport Taskforce short list. Credit: Supplied / Southern Ports

Mayor Gary Brennan says expanding operations and opportunities at Bunbury Port is inevitable, but significant investment on infrastructure is needed.

In response to the city’s port missing the Westport Taskforce’s shortlist, Mr Brennan said while it was disappointing there were positives to take away from investigations.

“I’d love to have seen Bunbury Port figure prominently, however the reasons given I accept ... fundamentally, we simply don’t have the infrastructure in place,” Mr Brennan said.

“Where we didn’t get the ticks were in the infrastructure area and my view is that we need to work with the State and Federal governments to get that infrastructure in place in Bunbury.

“There will be a time when Perth, Kwinana, the urban spread, the congestion, will impact strongly on shifting more and more activity to Bunbury Port and we have the capacity to do that – now and for the next 50 years and beyond.

“I think they’re the positives.”

The Westport Taskforce shortlist revealed five different port and supply chain options to manage Perth’s growing container freight needs for the next 50 years and beyond.

While all five options confirm the need for a new container port to be built in Kwinana, Bunbury Port did not feature in any of the short-listed options.

Building a new stand-alone port directly north of the Kwinana Bulk Terminal was ranked as the top option.

Bunbury did not make the cut based on the capital cost of duplicating the South West main rail line and the costs of transporting containers to Perth.

Mr Brennan said the port had “great potential” including 400ha of land and he was confident that would be tapped into soon.

“Bunbury Port continues to grow, customers continue to be attracted here ... the export potential for Bunbury Port is enormous and with that infrastructure, you have to plan for future years, you can’t just plan for the next five years,” he said.

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