Westport proposal to be assessed by EPA – Don’t miss today’s Webinar

Last week, the Deputy Premier announced that Westport had referred the proposed marine and landside port infrastructure to the EPA – the Western Australian Environmental Protection Authority – to start what is expected to be a multi-year environmental impact assessment process.

Westport is the State Government’s planning program to move container trade from Fremantle to Kwinana. This includes planning a new port, and the connected freight road, rail, and logistics operations. 

The EPA is now calling for public comment on whether Westport’s proposal should be assessed, and what level of assessment it requires.

Westport publicly stated this week that, given the significance of the project, the importance of Cockburn Sound, and the scale of the infrastructure, Westport is requesting the highest level of assessment – a PER or Public Environmental Review.

The public are also invited to give feedback on this question and you can do so by going to the EPA’s consultation hub. The public comment period commenced on 19 March and closes on 25 March. So you need to be quick.

It may reasonably be expected however that the EPA will find that a PER is the appropriate level of assessment.

You can learn more about Westport’s EIA referral in a live webinar today.

Westport Community Webinar 5 – Westport’s EPA referral
Topic: Westport’s marine and landside port infrastructure referral
Date: Thursday, 21 March 2024
Time: 5pm – 6pm AWST
To join the webinar, visit Community/Westport right here and simply click on the Community Webinar 5 ‘join here’ link.

The webinar will also be recorded and uploaded to Westport’s YouTube channel so you don’t need to panic if you miss the live webinar!

In summary, Westport’s referral to the EPA outlines the scope of Westport’s 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.
* An offshore breakwater required to protect ships berthed at the proposed terminal.

Referral is the first stage of the environmental impact assessment process.

Assessment is the most significant step in the process. This is expected to occur in 2025 and will publicly detail potential impacts and a proposed environmental restoration program.

Associated with Westport’s proposal is Main Roads WA’s Anketell Road referral to the EPA also made last week.

We reported on the Anketell/Thomas Road transport corridor concept in this article just two years ago. Time flies!

Main Roads has now submitted its separate, but related, 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.

To comment on the road referral, visit the EPA’s consultation hub. The comment period is open from 18 – 24 March 2024.so, once again, you need to be quick.

Lots of work to do for all interested parties, and we are sure there’ll be many.

By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News


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