The State Government will set up an Outer Harbour Taskforce to study the best road, rail and port options for easing freight congestion in Perth’s southern suburbs, according to Transport Minister Rita Saffioti.
“We will be developing an Outer Harbour Taskforce over the coming months and the idea of that is to look at the total supply chain, making sure we get the planning for the ports right and getting it right for road and rail as well,” she told CCI’s WA Freight and Logistics Summit on May 25.
Saffioti didn’t specify what outer harbour plan she favoured in the wake of the State Government’s scrapping of the Barnett Government’s Roe 8 and Roe 9 Freight Link projects that were designed to ease congestion and improve access to Fremantle Port.
However, previous options canvassed by Labor have included a new container port at Kwinana’s outer harbour that would allow the government to cap freight traffic at Fremantle.
“You need to have an integrated supply chain in relation to how we deliver freight to that new port,” Saffioti said.
The outer harbour was a “medium to longer-term” project, but the government was keen to start planning it now, she said.
“We’ll be making announcements about the Outer Harbour Taskforce, hopefully over the next six months, and I’d ask industry to work with us in developing the best model for the future to ensure we get the best supply chain there is.”
Some of the key road upgrades involved in the plan included the Tonkin Highway, and Anketell and/or Rowley roads, she added.
Meanwhile, the government was working with industry on identifying short-term opportunities to improve access to Fremantle and developing “intermodal” freight solutions, those involving multiple modes of transportation.
CCI chief executive Deidre Willmott said WA industry looks forward to working with Minister Saffioti and the State Government to identify key infrastructure projects that would facilitate freight movement and stimulate national economic growth.
“CCI and the WA business community has welcomed the State Government’s commitment to establishing Infrastructure WA and congratulates the Government for successfully securing $1.6 billion in federal funding for WA road and rail projects – a competitive national and state transport network is critical for WA to be a world-leading place to live and do business,” Willmott said.
Boosting the competitiveness of WA’s supply chain was also on the agenda with representatives from the State Government and nearly every sector of WA’s economy exploring ways competitiveness could be improved and how the economic potential of WA’s regions could be further unlocked.
Freight and Logistics Council of WA Chair Nicole Lockwood said outcomes from the summit would be provide insights for the Inquiry into a National Freight and Supply Chain Strategy.
Curtin University announced a scoping study to explore opportunities for the establishment of a collaborative Research and Education Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management in WA.
Curtin University Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research Professor Chris Moran said the study and centre will unearth the knowledge and expertise within WA logistics companies and look for improvements, while also exporting WA’s skills interstate and overseas.
►Missed out on the WA Freight and Logistics Summit? Join CCI at the 2017 Construction Industry Dinner for an evening that brings together over 600 representatives from major resource, construction and infrastructure industries.