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Westport Update August

Westport project update for August 2023

03 August 2023

Want to learn more? Read our latest Navigate

This month, Westport released a new edition of our Navigate Newsletter to take a closer look at the science, thinking and technical processes behind one of Western Australia’s largest ever infrastructure projects.

If you're interested in learning more about the technical components of the program, check out our latest Navigate here. We will continue to link to our Navigate newsletters in our regular program updates. They will also be made available via the documents page of our website.

Westport’s Business Case - Where, What and When?

We often refer to Westport’s Stage 3 Business Case, but what does this really mean?

Stage 2 of Westport set out to determine ‘where' Perth’s future container terminal should be built. After considering 25 locations/configurations (including Fremantle, Kwinana and Bunbury), Stage 2 wrapped-up in 2020 with a report identifying Kwinana as the preferred location for Perth’s future container terminal.

With the location bedded down, the purpose of Stage 3 is determining ‘what’ the port and supply chain should look like, and ‘when’ it should be built. We started with a long list of port and landside options which are progressively being narrowed down to a preferred concept by Q3 2023.

By the middle of 2024, Stage 3 will culminate in our advice to State Government on the preferred design and timing for the project, along with an approximate cost. We will do this through submission of a Business Case.

In alignment with Infrastructure Australia's evaluation framework, Westport's Stage 3 Business Case will demonstrate how we assessed different options to identify a preferred option. The Business Case will progress the concept for the design of the terminal, to about a 15% level of design maturity or completion, to enable Government to make an informed investment decision to invest further.

What people are asking: When and where will reports from the WAMSI Westport Marine Science be publicly available?

Reports from the WAMSI Westport Marine Science Program will be made publicly available online. The first reports will be available later this year and we’ll provide more specific information about this soon.

The Science Program was designed to ensure that research outcomes shape the project in a meaningful way. The findings of projects finishing in 2023 are needed to inform early design decisions prior to EPA referral in late 2023 and the submission of Westport’s Business Case in mid-2024. The remainder of the Science Program, to be completed during 2024, will inform Westport’s Public Environmental Review and EPA Assessment to be undertaken in 2025.

For the latest update, read the July Research Highlights and learn more about the marine science happening in and around Cockburn Sound.

Make sure you’re subscribed to Westport to receive further information about reports and findings from the WAMSI Westport Marine Science Program.

If you have a question for Westport, email us at

Engagement update: what we've heard

Thank you to all the stakeholders we met with recently. We appreciate you giving your time to provide us with your expertise, insight and feedback. Your input has been invaluable in helping us refine design options and plan for a sustainable port.

Here’s a snapshot of what we heard:

  • Logistic operators and specialists raised the importance of that whenever Westport considers supply chain design, we should be minimising the number of times a container is touched, because every move is an additional cost.
  • Community groups we spoke with continued to advocate for their members. They are concerned about the overall health of Cockburn Sound and ensuring the beaches and waters remain available for recreational use and intrinsic environmental values.
  • Importers have commented that there is an increased demand for warehousing locally, with the business model changing from having stock available 'just in time' prior to the COVID19 pandemic, to now having a large quantity of stock available 'just in case'. Westport’s full supply chain planning includes consideration of the benefits and efficiencies gained through the colocation of freight and logistics uses. This may include an integrated freight precinct, whereby an intermodal facility is adjacent to an empty container park, warehousing and other freight and logistics uses. 

Upcoming Engagement Opportunities in Fremantle

Building a new port in Kwinana represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to re-imagine the future of Fremantle’s Inner Harbour Port Precinct.

The Future of Fremantle Planning Committee has been established through the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage to develop a vision for the long-term redevelopment of Fremantle’s Inner Harbour, in collaboration with the community and interested stakeholders. The visioning process will explore opportunities for economic growth, diversification and job creation, as well as exciting opportunities to plan for new land uses for the site.

Creating a shared vision that is embraced by the community is a core objective of the project. There will be plenty of opportunities to have your say throughout 2023.

To find out more about when and how you can have your say, visit the Future of Fremantle's website.

Research findings from Cockburn Sound: Seagrass put to test for climate change resilience

Researchers looking at the possible impact of climate change on seagrass have tested the tolerance of the plants to rising temperatures after collecting samples at locations spanning 600 kilometres.

The research team found a heatwave in Perth that produced temperatures between three and four degrees higher than average summer temperatures would be likely to have a negative impact on the larger species which are generally able to withstand pressures for a greater duration than smaller species, but once damaged take longer to recover.

ECU School of Science Associate Professor Kathryn McMahon, who co-leads the research on seagrass resilience said the findings were significant.

“These findings are really exciting as they indicate there are differences among seagrass species and population along our WA coast to ocean warming,” Associate Professor McMahon said.

“We can harness these differences and take actions to try and build resilience into our spectacular seagrass meadows.”

Read the full article here.

What’s next for Westport?

Here’s a snapshot of what’s coming up for Westport:

  • Mid 2023: 3 preferred options for new container terminal and supply chain
  • Late 2023: Identification of final option for container terminal and supply chain
  • Late 2023: Anketell-Thomas Road freight corridor updated concept design
  • Early 2024: Referral to EPA to determine level of environmental assessment
  • Mid 2024: Submission of the Westport Business Case to the WA Government

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