Funding Good News for Vic Quay but it’s No Substitute for a Working Port
11 May 2022
Today’s announcement of funding for Victoria Quay in Fremantle was a welcome one but for those of us advocating for change in this area for a decade or more it does have a feeling of déjà vu. The Fremantle Council and others have been pushing for these changes outlined in this budget announcement for many years.
Moving roll on roll off (RORO) vehicles and live sheep (or just end the trade) and the “opening up the south side of the port for new community, business or tourism opportunities” makes complete sense. I am not sure why it costs $7 million just to “investigate” this. Frankly it is time to stop the endless planning and get on with doing it.
There is a huge amount of land on the South side of the port that once sheep, scrap metal, and RORO are moved would enable decades of development to go ahead. The City of Fremantle flagged this back in 2016 with a major report. This City-commissioned independent report identified the development of South Quay would generate 3700 new jobs and private investment of $3.5 billion. Here is how The West wrote it up :Ambitious plan to transform Freo port | The West Australian
Importantly, none of this would require moving the container port on the North side which has plenty of life in it yet. (see this earlier post for some thoughts on moving the port – Beyond the False Choice for Fremantle Port | City of Fremantle Mayor’s Blog (wordpress.com))
While I support getting on and activating Victoria Quay on the south side, we must resist the premature moving of the port which will not only unnecessarily waste billions of dollars, but would also be a huge blow to the economy of Fremantle – a blow which this announcement does not even come close to making up for.