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Kwinana port to handle livestock

Rebecca TurnerCountryman

The livestock industry has long called for live exports to be moved out of Fremantle and now the State Government has agreed.

WA Transport Minister Troy Buswell told transport operators at the Livestock and Rural Transport Association of WA conference that live exports would be relocated from Fremantle to another government-owned port in Kwinana, operated by Fremantle Ports.

“Geographically the port is in the same area and will use the same roads, ” Mr Buswell said.

“We will be in consultation with the industry to make sure the facility is something it will use.”

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Mr Buswell said the move would provide a good outcome for the industry and restated the State Government’s support for live exports, however neither a costing nor timeframe for the project was given.

“We are keen to see live exports moved from Fremantle to Kwinana with space becoming an issue due to exports out of the Fremantle inner harbour forecast to double within the next 20 years, ” Mr Buswell said.

“Fremantle Ports is starting to work on this move now and are assuring me there is a small facility available at Kwinana so I am sure this won’t be a problem.”

Mr Buswell said preliminary work had identified options to relocate exports to either Kwinana Bulk Terminal one or two.

A spokesman for Fremantle Ports said while it was not part of its short-term plan to move live exports out of Fremantle, it was looking at possibilities for the minister.

Chairman of privately owned James Point Pty Ltd, Chris Whitiker, said it was clear industry and the Government wanted to see live exports moved out of the Fremantle inner harbour.

He said Kwinana Bulk Terminal one was close to where James Point Pty Ltd planned to build its port, however he expected the port would require significant work to upgrade it so that live exporters could operate from there.

In the meantime, live exporters would also have the option to export out of James Point bulk terminal once the project was completed.

“We will still be able to facilitate loading facilities for live exports, ” Dr Whitiker said, adding that the James Point facility was on track for building to start in 18 months.

WA Livestock Exporters Association chairman John Edwards said the industry was keen to relocate load-out facilities for live exports out of the Fremantle inner harbour.

“This initiative should have been done years ago and would have alleviated a number of issues the industry is up against, ” Mr Edwards said.

“Live exports are obviously in conflict with other port users and carting of livestock through built-up suburban areas is causing a number of issues.”

Mr Edwards said the situation at Fremantle inner harbour was such that efficiencies in loading ships with fodder and water were often compromised because of conflicts with steel cargo and other users of the bulk load-out facility.

He said keeping the livestock trade in front of a population of people who did not understand the industry continued to cause problems.

International Livestock Exports director Mike Stanton agreed, saying the industry had been working to relocate live export loading to Kwinana for more than 10 years.

He said in this time facilities and efficiencies at Fremantle Port, as well as the traffic concerns accessing the port, had become worse and were unlikely to improve.

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