Ambitious plan to transform Freo port: The West Australian Today
April 9, 2016 4 Comments
Ambitious plan to transform Freo port
Waterfront homes for thousands of people, an international standard cruise ship terminal and a $1 billion boost to State Government coffers are key outcomes of an ambitious plan to change the face of the southern side of Fremantle port.
Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt said the metamorphosis of South Quay would be a highly appropriate “special project” for WA’s bicentennial celebrations in 2029.
“We have a new airport and we have a new river gateway at Elizabeth Quay — now we need a redeveloped world-class ocean gateway,” he said.
And it could be done at no net cost to the State Government.
The plans come as the Barnett Government’s proposed sale of the port is teetering.
An economic analysis of the conceptual plan by business management consultants MacroPlan Dimasi has found the development could generate $946 million for the State Government over 20 years in net land sale values, stamp duties, land tax, payroll tax and GST returns.
It also found the project could attract private investment of $3.5 billion and generate 3760 jobs.
In its report to the City of the Fremantle, the consultants said South Quay involved 15.7ha of land — similar to Perth City Link — and could accommodate high-rise developments.
It said the land was currently used for low-use activities, primarily as a carpark for imported vehicles.
Returns to the State could be greatly enhanced if the land was transformed for high-value uses such as a high-quality cruise ship home base.
“A fundamental component of this concept is to maintain South Quay as an operating berth for cruise ships of all sizes,” the report said. “The potential to locate large public buildings on site — such as an indigenous art gallery, entertainment arena and convention centre — in addition to the commercial development could make the precinct a significant tourism precinct.
“Unlocking the development potential of South Quay is a critical element in allowing Fremantle to increase its activity, vibrancy and viability.”
Dr Pettitt said the redevelopment had the potential to accommodate thousands of people, many with spectacular views across the harbour.
“At the moment its rows and rows of imported cars that enjoy the best waterfront views,” he said. “If we can shift this aspect of the port operations — and the live-sheep carriers — it would open up a significant area to development.
“We could transform the Quay into a spectacular area and a terrific entry point for the thousands of people who arrive by cruise ship.
“At the moment, their first sight of Fremantle is lots of cars, asphalt and a rail line. It’s pretty ordinary.”
The MacroPlan Dimasi report points to the Broadwater Marine Project in Queensland as an example of where the development of a cruise ship terminal can act as a catalyst to encourage investment in tourism and entertainment developments.