THE FEDERAL government has announced $33.5 million in funding to progress plans for the development of Westport in WA.

The funding is outlined in the 2024-25 federal budget, due to be handed down next Tuesday, 14 May.

It intends to support the planning works necessary for the development of Westport, a project that aims to move container trade from Fremantle to Kwinana. The project involves planning a new port as well as connecting road, rail and logistics operations.

The budget commitment targets the planning for parts of the construction process, namely upgrading Anketell Road West, widening the Kwinana Freeway and Roe Highway, and freight rail duplication and level crossing removal.

The federal government said it has been working with the state government to deliver a port that meets the latest global standards of technology, sustainability and efficiency. Its $33.5-million investment will match the state’s contribution, taking total investment for the planning phase to $67 million.

“Western Australia is the economic engine room of Australia, and this port will be a critical hub,” Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said.

“We are pleased to work with the Cook Government to deliver this project.”

And federal minister for infrastructure and transport Catherine King said the government is working to deliver significant infrastructure that increases connections and improves safety.

“The hard work we undertook to clean up the mess in the infrastructure pipeline means there is room to deal with ongoing cost pressures and plan for future projects,” she said.

The Westport project was established in 2017 to identify the location for Perth’s future container port.

Its most recent milestone was its referral to the WA Environmental Protection Authority in March.