FREMANTLE inner Harbour replacement project Westport has moved to a new stage with its referral to the WA Environmental Protection Authority.

Referral of the proposed marine and landside port infrastructure within the Kwinana Industrial Area is the first stage of environmental impact assessment and will determine the level of assessment, the state government says.  

Westport is requesting the highest level of environmental assessment, Public Environmental Review, “given the significance of the project to the state, the importance of the environmental values in Cockburn Sound and the scale of the infrastructure”.

Westport’s referral documentation outlines the scope of the 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; and
  • an offshore breakwater required to protect ships berthed at the proposed terminal.

Referral marks the first step in the environmental impact assessment process which is expected to take around two years. The EPA is due to publish the documentation in the coming weeks and will then invite public comment on the level of assessment.

Main Roads will submit a separate referral to the EPA for upgrading Anketell Road, from Leath Road to the Kwinana Freeway, to support freight requirements for the Western Trade Coast and the future port in Kwinana.

Transport minister Rita Saffioti said the government’s $13.5 million partnership with the WA Marine Science Institution was providing the most up-to-date marine science needed for Westport to deliver “a robust environmental impact assessment, and has informed important decisions around infrastructure design to minimise environmental impact to the greatest extent possible.

“Westport continues to engage industry and the community, along with leading experts in engineering, marine science, sustainability, and transport, to plan for a sustainable and efficient new port for Westport Australia,” Ms Saffioti said.