The Case for the Outer Harbour by Cameron Edwards
This is a presentation by Cameron Edward, a corporate and infrastructure advisor with decades of experience in infrastructure, industrial and port developments.
Cameron’s presentation presents a compelling case supporting the new port at Kwinana as a better deal for Western Australia and more importantly – it will stimulate massive economic development in Kwinana and Fremantle, developing new industries with flow on effects around the area as well as new tourism and entertainment opportunities in Fremantle.
Key points of this presentation:
- excess capacity of existing port:
- Excess expansion capacity of the port as stated by Port Authority and the government is theoretical only. It serves to make the port look as attractive as possible and fetch the best price when it is sold.
- Length and depth of harbour is unsuitable for major current and future shipping vessels, leaving Freo behind most world class ports internationally and even in Australia.
- The Perth Freight Link (PFL) is also an essential part of the package to make the port more attractive to buyers.
- Who benefits from PFL and sale of port.
- Existing private logistics companies, as it stunts development of rail freight, which cannot be expanded into Freo port. But road freight is 2x the cost of rail, which is passed onto us – the consumers.
- Melbourne port, because Fremantle port cannot compete on the same scale.
- Investors, because they will be able – alongside the logistics companies – to dictate terms to the government as there is no opportunity to divest or grow.
- The solution is an outer harbour at Kwinana, which has been studied and investigated in detail for over 25 years now. The outer harbour will unlock many opportunities:
- Divestment of Freo port and development of a world class tourism terminal and entertainment precinct, which is not possible while it is hamstrung by a working port. This has been successfully done in many cities worldwide (Sydney, Cardiff, Singapore, Hamburg, Barcelona, Lisbon…)
- developed of a modern high through-put, deep water port with an integrated intermodal transport hub and a large scale industrial precinct to allow new industry to develop. The framework for all this is already in place.
- The benefits are:
- The redevelopment of he outer harbour and Freo waterfront Represent an estimated Net Present Value (NPV) cash contribution to GRP of $18bn, compared to less than $1bn for a Freo Port with the PFL.
- The outer harbour creates permanent jobs, many of which will be high income and for women. The PFL on the other hand creates temporary construction jobs, most of which are going to be taken by men only. It will create many more indirect jobs in the industrial areas surrounding the port.
- The outer harbour can remove large scal trannsport of all dangerous goods from metropolitan roads around Fremantle, Cockburn and Melville.
- Kwinana makes Sense for investors and property developers:
- Freo port land value can increase from the $2bn it is currently valued at to $4bn (tourism, residential, commercial land is much more valuable than industrial).
- private developers will develop the outer harbour if the package is right. The government will not need to finance the outer harbour itself. The Buckeridge group have already shown that there is an appetite by private investors and developers to pursue this option.
The PFL and sale of Freo Port on the other hand will wipe out these benefits and stunt development of Freo and an outer harbour for decades.