The Labor Party has supported plans for a new, rail-connected container terminal to be built at the outer harbour of Fremantle’s bulk port, Kwinana, in south-west Perth.
Shadow infrastructure minister Anthony Albanese on Monday announced a Shorten Labor Government would give $2 million to the West Australian Government so it could put the plan to Infrastructure Australia.
The Outer Harbour – which has the vocal support of the local City of Kwinana council – has been compared as a viable alternative to the controversial Perth Freight Link – a road project designed to boost capacity to and from the Port of Fremantle.
The plan relies on strengthening rail links to the Kwinana site, among other measures.
“Since it was first proposed in 1996, both sides of politics have recognised the Outer Harbour as the solution to existing constraints on container freight coming into Perth,” Albanese said.
“Western Australia’s prosperity depends on all levels of government working together to deliver state-of-the-art infrastructure. It means jobs for Western Australians.”
Government analysis has suggested Fremantle Port could hit capacity by early next decade.
Kwinana, currently a bulk export terminal just south of the Fremantle container port, is seen as a major candidate for boosting that capacity.
“After more than three years in office, the Liberals are sitting on their hands, instead allocating funding to the flawed Perth Freight Link, subsequently blocked by the Western Australian Supreme Court in December last year,” Albanese said.
The Perth Freight Link was stalled at the end of 2015 after the courts ruled out a portion of the existing plans on environmental grounds.
“With the project discredited and the Malcolm Turnbull’s infrastructure record in tatters, we stand ready to work with the State to get on with the job of the Outer Harbour planning immediately,” Albanese continued.
“Western Australians know that careful planning and cooperation across all levels of government is required to boost WA’s economy, and not merely more road tolls.”