Taskforce chairwoman visits Bunbury and promises more updates

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Westport Taskforce independent chairwomen Nicole Lockwood visited Bunbury to provide an update on the plan.
Camera IconWestport Taskforce independent chairwomen Nicole Lockwood visited Bunbury to provide an update on the plan. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

Wesport Taskforce independent chairwoman Nicole Lockwood has said updates on the report looking at how the state’s shipping operations will change will become more frequent as public feedback is increasingly sought on a number of elements.

Ms Lockwood made the comments while visiting Bunbury, where she spoke to interested community members as well as stakeholders.

She said helping people understand the assumptions would help them understand the final recommendations when they are made later this year.

“To ensure that level of knowledge is there, we’re going to communicate regularly about what we’ve found in each part of the puzzle and how that is going to be used overall,” she said.

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“We have a number of groups that have very clear views and interests that they are trying to protect.

“Doing nothing is not an option because growth is happening and we want to plan to make sure we can manage it.

“Seeking feedback is about making sure we’ve understood issues people have or areas they want to protect and we’re able to mitigate any impact.”

When the taskforce’s initial progress report was released in December, Ms Lockwood said an update outlining criteria to be used in assessing eight options would be released in February, but the change in the way updates would be delivered altered that plan.

Three of the eight options presented in the December report included moving Fremantle’s container operations at least partly to Bunbury.

Ms Lockwood reiterated distance remained the biggest hurdle that could prevent the city from becoming part of Perth’s container network.

“We know there is a catchment for Bunbury and the South West that could be serviced by a container facility, but we are very keen to see if the Perth supply chain can also be served,” she said.

“We need to make the link between the port precinct and the supply chain as efficient as possible.”

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