More Budget Money Promised For B Shed and Passenger Terminal Works

Cook Government announces an additional $40.5 million in upcoming Budget for works in Fremantle’s Victoria Quay precinct.

* $5 million for B Shed upgrade to further activate the Victoria Quay precinct

* $35.5 million wharf works to strengthen berth decking and improve fendering for cruise visits at Fremantle Passenger Terminal.

But still no news on repairs and re-opening of pedestrian overpass from Passenger Terminal to James Street.

The relatively new Ports Minister, David Michael, announced over the weekend that the Cook Government will invest an additional $40.5 million in ‘the next stage of activation’ of Fremantle’s Victoria Quay precinct, including improvements to historic B Shed and cruise ship infrastructure at Fremantle Passenger Terminal.

B Shed, Victoria Quay, Fremantle. Credit Fremantle Shipping News

As part of the 2024-25 State Budget, $5 million will be committed to ‘preparatory works’ for B Shed to be utilised as a new Rottnest Island ferry terminal, visitor experience, hospitality and event space.

B Shed, Victoria Quay, Fremantle. Credit Fremantle Shipping News

An additional $35.5 million has been allocated for improvement works further along Victoria Quay, including ‘essential deck repairs and major fender upgrades’ at the Fremantle Passenger Terminal.

Fremantle Passenger Terminal. Credit Fremantle Ports

The upgrades to Berths F and G, which service the Fremantle Passenger Terminal, will allow the passenger terminal to continue to service the burgeoning cruise industry, cater for the larger visiting ships and continue to bring visitors to Fremantle and experience everything that Western Australia has to offer.

The B Shed upgrade, the Minister notes, builds on the highly successful development of A Shed by Gage Roads Brewery with Fremantle Ports, which has already transformed the western end of Victoria Quay into a ‘beloved public space’.

B Shed is currently vacant, due to repair works to the building’s substructure and flooring.  These works are scheduled for completion in 2025, after which new building services and the first stage of an internal fit-out can begin.

These works will pave the way for the planned redevelopment within B Shed of booking and luggage facilities for Rottnest Island ferry operators, who have been operating from temporary premises nearby since late 2022.

The new facilities will provide the ferry companies and their customers, as well as visitors to B Shed itself, with a redesigned layout, more space and an overall improved visitor experience.

It is planned that ‘B Shed will, in time, be a multi-purpose facility’ that complements the recent redevelopment of A Shed and the progressive redevelopment of the entire precinct as a mixed-use recreational and commercial zone.

David Michael, Ports Minister

Minister Michael said –

“This is another exciting step in the reimagining of the Victoria Quay precinct, building on the huge success of the Gage Roads redevelopment of A Shed.

“The wharf upgrades at the passenger terminal, while less obvious, are equally important to the growth of the cruise sector, which is very important to the Fremantle economy and a great advertisement for WA.”

Treasurer and Tourism Minister at Fremantle Passenger Terminal. File image. Credit Fremantle Shipping News

Tourism Minister Rita Saffioti was equally effusive about the spend –

“We want the journey to our world-famous Rottnest Island to start at Victoria Quay, so it’s important that we’re investing in these upgrades to B Shed to create a vibrant space for tourists and of course our local community.

“We’ve seen what investment like this can achieve just by looking at the hugely popular development of A Shed by Gage Roads, so this is a very exciting next step for Victoria Quay.”

Simone McGurk, MLA for Fremantle

An equally enthusiastic Simone McGurk, the local member for Freo, said –

“This is another example of the Cook Government’s ongoing commitment to fund the rejuvenation of Fremantle’s port precinct – which is the beating heart of Freo.

“When the final vision is realised, the port precinct will be seamlessly connected with the Fremantle town centre, making the area more attractive, accessible and vibrant – so it can live up to its full potential.”

So, folks, there you are. In short and in time, B Shed will have the ferry departures, and some commercial uses that may look or feel a lot like Gage Roads. And the Passenger Terminal gets some much needed work done on it so passenger vessels can safely dock there in the future.

Pedestrian Overpass from Fremantle Passenger Terminal to James Street. Credit Fremantle Shipping News

Pity there wasn’t also an announcement that the currently closed pedestrian overpass from near the Passenger Terminal to James Street in central Freo is to be repaired and re-opened sometime soon.

By Michael Barker, Editor, Fremantle Shipping News


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