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Westport Community Update March 2024

Catch-up on the latest Westport news in our March community update

25 March 2024
Photos of Westport at Coogee Live


Multi-year environmental impact assessment process underway 

Westport has referred the proposed marine and landside port infrastructure to the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) to start the multi-year environmental impact assessment process.

Given the significance of the project, the importance of Cockburn Sound, and the scale of the infrastructure, Westport is requesting the highest level of assessment - Public Environmental Review.

A reminder that today is the last day for public comment on whether Westport’s proposal should be assessed, and what level of assessment it requires. To have your say visit the EPA’s consultation hub

Westport’s referral 

To view Westport’s referral document, visit the EPA’s website. The referral outlines the scope of Westport's proposal, which includes:

  • Port facilities, comprising an area of reclaimed land in Cockburn Sound and connections to road and rail infrastructure in the Kwinana Industrial Area.
  • A shipping channel into Cockburn Sound to accommodate larger container vessels expected in the future.
  • An offshore breakwater required to protect ships berthed at the proposed terminal.

Referral is the first stage of the environmental impact assessment process.

Assessment is the most significant step in the process. This is expected to occur in 2025 and will publicly detail potential impacts and a proposed environmental restoration program.

We've also put together a video to outline how the environmental assessment process is expected to unfold.

Learn more about Westport’s referral 

We hosted a community webinar on Thursday 21 March to provide information about Westport’s referral and answer community questions.  

To watch the webinar recording visit our YouTube channel

Rail upgrades

As part of the long-term planning for a new port in Kwinana and integrated supply chain, Westport is considering how the freight task can be shared between road and rail networks in the most efficient and cost-effective way.   

Proposed rail upgrades include:   

  • 4.5km rail connection running along the new port terminal to the existing network east of Rockingham Road.  
  • Duplication of approximately 8.4km of the freight rail line between Kwinana and the Cockburn Triangle, near Beeliar Drive in Cockburn.      
  • Removal of existing rail level crossings between the new port facilities in Kwinana and Kwinana Freeway to facilitate safe and efficient rail freight operations, improve safety for road users and pedestrians and reduce congestion.    
  • Long-term upgrades to rail connections to the intermodal terminals at Kewdale, led by industry demand.  

Westport is still in early planning, with years of further design and development still to come following submission of the Westport business case to government in mid-2024.  

We will engage with stakeholders, including the local community as planning continues.   

Coogee Live

Thank you to everyone who visited the Westport stall at Coogee Live! It was great to see so many people keen to have a chat about Westport and ask us questions. We had great fun colouring and ‘building’ shipping containers with local families.  

Naval Base horse beach

People have been using Naval Base horse beach for decades and we now know that access to this area will eventually be lost with the development of the proposed port facilities. Over the coming years, we're committed to working closely with the various groups who use the beach, to understand their usage and explore future solutions.

Horse beach webinar  

Last week, we ran an online webinar for the horse-riding community. Westport's Managing Director provided an outline of how and why the area was chosen for the future port facilities and addressed questions from the group. This webinar was recorded and can be viewed on our YouTube channel. 

Horse beach survey

We're calling for users of the Naval Base horse beach to complete a short survey to help us better understand how you use the area and other horse beaches across Perth. Your input will help inform the ongoing planning for Westport.

Complete the survey here. 

Our team was at the horse beach on Friday and Saturday last week and spoke with a range of people. We look forward to providing an update on the survey findings and outlining the next steps in the coming months. 

If you have any questions, please contact us via or 1800 875 000.

My Say Transport Survey

Thank you to everyone who’s submitted a response to Westport’s community survey. So far, we’ve had over 700 submissions. The survey is open until 31 May, so make sure you have your say

Your survey submission will help us better understand what matters to you.   

Our next webinar on Tuesday 23 April will address community hot topics, including what we're hearing from the survey.  

For now, one of the common themes we're already hearing is the need to protect the marine ecosystem, especially seagrass, from the impacts of dredging.

Here's a sample of what you've said: 

What do we need to get right, in planning for Westport?

  • "Protection of the sea grass meadows from pollution and dredging the channels causing silting. The sea grass is the lifeline for all the fish and crustaceans in Cockburn Sound."
  • "You need to ensure that sea grass and pink snapper spawning areas are not affected by the required dredging."
  • "As to not affect the snapper breading grounds, not disturbing the contaminants that lay within the floor of the sound during dredging operations."
  • "Assessment of the impact of dredging and associated sediment plumes created in the construction phase on long term marine biodiversity values."

So, what is our dredging impact and how are we planning for dredging activities?

Westport’s preferred design has the smallest dredging footprint of the options we assessed and avoids direct impact to existing seagrass meadows in Cockburn Sound. However, the channel footprint cannot avoid impact to around 1.5% of existing seagrass meadows across Owen Anchorage, Gage Roads, and the existing Deep Water Channel.     

The proposed new channel has been designed to run through areas that have previously been dredged by existing industry, which has minimised overall impacts to seagrass.     

Through Westport’s marine research program with the WA Marine Science Institution (WAMSI), research has been undertaken to inform best practice around dredging, and avoid, minimise, and mitigate the risks. 

The program is delivering research on seagrass mapping, light and sediment tolerance thresholds, and the success factors for restoration trials. This research will help increase the effectiveness of future restoration activities and will inform our dredge management plan. 

Westport is planning for long-term mitigation activities that aim to support seagrass restoration programs in Cockburn Sound and increase the success and scale of seagrass recovery.    

Check out our latest Navigate Newsletter

In the March edition of our Navigate newsletter we discuss Westport’s environmental assessment referral, the proposed new channel, rail upgrades and the latest published reports from our partnership with the WA Marine Science Institution.  

Read now.

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