GROWING recognition of the natural environment in marine infrastructure was one of the themes of the Asia-Pacific conference for PIANC, the World Association for Waterborne Transport Infrastructure

The conference was held in Fremantle this week and attracted about 100 face-to-face delegates plus 90 delegates online from 10 overseas countries.

WA ports minister Alannah MacTiernan officially opened the event.

Fremantle Ports CEO Chris Leatt-Hayter said the conference’s theme of Port, harbour and recreational boating for today and tomorrow reflected the importance of the natural environment, as well as a growing emphasis on social licence issues.

“The symposium will focus on nature-based solutions for coasts, ports and estuaries, featuring multiple international and national presenters and interactive discussion,” Mr Leatt-Hayter said.

Fremantle Ports staff at the conference (from left): Roger Makins, general manager asset and infrastructure management; David Heppingstone, harbour master; and Gavin Bignell, general manager port operations. Credit: FPA

“Key areas of focus include port-related navigation, environment, strategic asset management, design and construction of ports and marine facilities, port planning, and coastal processes and strategic risks,” he said.

“It is timely for this major conference to be in Fremantle with the WA Government’s Westport planning for container trade facilities in the Outer Harbour now in its next stage.”

PIANC, established in 1885, is one of the world’s longest continually running industry associations. PIANC APAC 2020 was held at the Esplanade Hotel, Fremantle.