Kwinana port design selected but expect costs and timeframes to creep up
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The design for Western Australia’s new container port has been selected but the long-awaited project will cost more and take longer to build than previously flagged.
The Labor government began planning for the new container port terminal after being elected in 2017 and since Kwinana was selected as the preferred location in 2020 it has spent the past 18 months working out the best design for the facility.
The new port will be located at the site of the Kwinana bulk handling terminal.
The new port will be adjacent to the shoreline of the current Kwinana bulk terminal which will be integrated into the new container port.
A massive breakwater will be built up in the Cockburn Sound to protect the port from swells.
Treasurer Rita Saffioti said the new port was a once-in-a-century project for the state and for its economic fortunes.
The treasurer said the design selected ticked the most boxes in terms of costs, operational costs, construction and environmental considerations, which could be a major point of tension with the state’s fishing community concerned about its impact on the sound.
Ports Minister David Michael, Premier Roger Cook and Treasurer Rita Saffioti.Credit: Hamish Hastie
She said a business case would be delivered by the middle of next year and the government would make a final decision on the project before the 2025 election.
Saffioti said the government did not yet know the firm costs or timeframe to completion but revealed the $4 billion price tag would escalate and 2032 completion date be difficult to reach.
“We’re revisiting all aspects of the budget, that budget was done before COVID, before the supply chain issues, and also things like the breakwater are something that’s new in the design,” she said.
“They’re not blowouts. We’re basically saying that we’ll outline our full-cost and operational aspects of the project in July.”
The Westport project was started after Labor gained power in 2017 and scrapped the former Barnett government’s Roe 8 project designed to improve container traffic to and from Fremantle Port.
The new port design will also include major road and container rail upgrades in Perth including widening the Kwinana Freeway from Russell Road to Anketell Road and duplication of freight rail between the new port and Cockburn.
Premier Roger Cook said the new port would be able to facilitate larger ships which meant the new port would be more efficient.
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