Frequently Asked Questions
Westport is the State Government’s long-term program for a new, efficient and sustainable container port in Kwinana with an integrated road and rail network. Westport is a once in a century opportunity to create a resilient container trade supply chain that meets the needs of the community and underpins our State's long-term economic prosperity.
Fremantle Port currently imports around 800,000 containers annually. Over the next 50 years, this is expected to grow to more than 3 million containers a year. Fremantle Port, and its associated road and rail network, will be unable to manage these volumes. Investment is therefore required in new port infrastructure to support our WA economy for the next 100 years.
Major port projects take time to plan before construction can even begin.
Westport is currently in Stage 3 of the planning process, with a preferred design for the new port and supply chain now released and a business case to be delivered to the State Government for review by mid-2024.
In 2020, the Westport Independent Taskforce identified Kwinana as the preferred location for the new port. It offers several benefits. Already a large industrial area, it has the capacity for a new port and the ability to design an integrated and efficient road and rail network to support container distribution.
Relocating container trade to Kwinana will support increased container trade volumes, the larger ships expected in the future, a more efficient supply chain, a net-zero targets, and create new job and business opportunities.
It will also reduce the number of trucks within densely populated residential areas and free up around 260 hectares of prime land in the City of Fremantle for up to 55,000 residents and 50,000 businesses.
Locating the new port in the heart of WA’s world-class industrial area will provide those in the area and WA with greater access to skilled roles and training opportunities.
The location of the new terminal in Kwinana is proposed between the end of Barter Road and the end of Mason Road.
A freight corridor along Anketell/Thomas Roads will connect the port with Tonkin Highway.
You can see the proposed design for the new port at Kwinana and its associated supply chain, including road, rail and a logistics hub in Kenwick, Kewdale and Forrestfield here.
This will include detailed costings and recommendations on the best time and way to transition container trade from Fremantle to Kwinana, ensuring we get the best value for the State.
The State Government will make an investment decision and determine next steps, including possible timing, after the business case is submitted to the Government in mid-2024.
Westport’s business case to Government, which will be delivered in mid-2024, will provide a cost estimate, commercial framework, and ownership and funding options.
For over 120 years, the Inner Harbour in Fremantle has been the main container trade port for WA, supporting domestic and international trade and helping WA to thrive.
It currently manages around 800,000 containers a year. However, urban development has placed pressure on freight access, particularly around Leach Highway.
With container trade volumes expected to increase to more than 3 million over the next 50 years, and ship sizes getting bigger, over the next two decades, Fremantle will reach capacity.
Upgrading Fremantle Port to meet future container and shipping needs would require large, costly, and disruptive upgrades, and would still not resolve issues in the longer term, particularly in terms of road congestion in inner urban and residential areas. Increased traffic volumes will slow the move of freight, leading to higher distribution costs and impacts to the local community.
With Westport investigating a new port and supply chain in Kwinana, the long-term redevelopment of Fremantle port precinct is being considered.
Around 260 hectares of prime inner urban and coastal land will be freed up by the shift of container trade from Fremantle to Kwinana.
The Future of Fremantle Planning Committee, administered by the WA Planning Commission, is developing a vision for the longer-term redevelopment of the area.
The community is being asked to be involved in this long-term process to make the most of this opportunity to redesign Fremantle.
Fremantle Port will remain operational, welcoming cruise ships, leisure craft and visiting military ships.
Westport recognises that the construction and operation of a new container port in Cockburn Sound will have some impact to the local environment. However, our preferred design was chosen partly as it reduces the immediate impact on Cockburn Sound.
We are currently working on plans for further mitigation and restoration activities that will ensure we don’t just protect, but we improve the long-term health of Cockburn Sound.
We are using a science-based approach to understand the potential impacts and opportunities of the port development for Cockburn Sound.
Westport has partnered with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) to deliver a comprehensive $13.5 million research program that is creating our most extensive understanding of the Cockburn Sound’s ecosystem and marine life, that we’ve ever had.
When considering our shortlist of port design options, the environmental impacts of the proposed designs were strongly considered.
Our preferred design offered the lowest environmental impact for Cockburn Sound, including the lowest dredging footprint, and includes planning for further mitigation and restoration activities.
The preferred design will also undergo a rigorous and independent environmental impact assessment by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), starting in 2024.
Westport takes its environmental obligations very seriously, particularly in and around Cockburn Sound. Westport is taking a science-based approach to better understand potential impacts and opportunities to improve the long-term health of Cockburn Sound.
Westport has partnered with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) to deliver a comprehensive research program that fills important knowledge gaps about Cockburn Sound’s ecosystem and marine life to inform a mitigation and restoration plan.
The commitment is to plan, build and operate the most sustainable port in Australia, with a net-zero supply chain, and which supports and improves the health of the local environment.
Building a port will have short-term impacts on marine life. However, with time to plan our development, our intent is to minimise any impacts in the first instance with the design, and undertake mitigation and restoration activities to improve the long-term health of Cockburn Sound.
Westport has partnered with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) to deliver a comprehensive research program.
This ongoing program has given us our most detailed understanding of the Cockburn Sound eco-system that we’ve ever had, with particular work done around Snapper, Little Penguins, Bottlenose dolphins, Australian sea lions and seahorses/pipefish.
WAMSI is also investigating how seagrasses are affected by different pressures, reviewing the success of different restoration and management practices, and looking how seagrass meadows can be strengthened to better cope with the changing climate.
Yes. Community access to Cockburn Sound for the recreational fishing community will continue.
As part of our work with the Western Australian Marine Science Institution (WAMSI) Westport is engaging with the local recreational fishing community and researching ways to support healthy fish stocks and habitats.
The proposed new port in Kwinana will be situated between the end of Barter Road and the end of Mason Road.
There will be impacts to access at the horse beach. Westport is working directly with the horse beach community to work through alternatives.
The proposed new port will not directly physically impact on the Naval Base Shacks.
The preferred design was chosen partly because it offered the lowest environmental impacts, including the least required amount of dredging.
The research we have been doing through our science programs has given us an increased insight into how dredging can impact the local habitat. This knowledge will be informing our dredging and mitigation activities, as we will be able to time activities to maintain water quality and reduce overall impact.
As part of Westport’s long-term planning, an environmental impact assessment (EIA) will commence in early 2024 and continue over many years to come.
The assessment will be undertaken by both the State and Commonwealth governments, with the process beginning by with a referral.
A referral does not mean environmental approval has been given.
EIA’s for Westport will cover two projects or proposals:
- Managed by Westport, the new port including maritime shipping channels, projects, breakwater, container port precinct, and land-side road and rail infrastructure: and
- Managed by Main Roads WA, the Anketell/Thomas Road transport corridor.
The Anketell-Thomas Road Freight Corridor (ATRFC) is the long-term plan for a future freight corridor connecting the new port in Kwinana with Tonkin Highway in Oakford.
An early concept design for the freight corridor was released for consultation in March 2022 to enable early discussions with the community about the impact of the future corridor and, to inform directly impacted property owners of the area proposed to be protected by a Planning Control Area.
View the early concept design fly-through and Fact Sheet released in March 2022.
Since then, Main Roads has been engaging with stakeholders and refining a planning concept design. The planning concept design for the section between Leath Road and Kwinana Freeway includes:
- Anketell Road upgraded to four lanes between Kwinana Freeway and Leath Road in Kwinana.
- Interchanges at Armstrong Road and Rockingham Road.
- Intersection upgrades / changes at Mandogalup Road, McLaughlan Road (left in and left out), Abercrombie Road and Leath Road.
Upgrades to the existing freight route on Kwinana Freeway and Roe Highway will be required in the future to support operations of the new port and allow connectivity to other freight and logistic facilities north-east of Perth.
Planning for the ultimate corridor between Leath Road and Tonkin Highway will progress in line with future growth requirements of the new port, as well as future residential and commercial development needs.
Five Planning Control Areas (PCAs) were endorsed by the Western Australian Planning Commission on 17 March 2023. These PCAs identify land potentially required to support the future construction of the Anketell-Thomas Road Freight Corridor.
More information about the PCAs can be viewed here.
The PCAs will have no direct impact on your land or existing use of that land. It is simply a 'control' measure, which means that should you wish to undertake development work (for example, renovations, sheds and patios) you will need to apply to your local government who will forward the application to the Western Australian Planning Commission (WAPC) for approval.
Further information regarding planning and approval requirements can be obtained by contacting the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage at email@example.com or 6551 8002.