04/02/2019 - 15:05

DPWorld and Patrick stay on at Freo

04/02/2019 - 15:05

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The two main operators at Fremantle Ports container terminal look set to stay until at least 2026, with the state government flagging discussions about infrastructure for container movements into the port to be a key priority in its negotiations.

DPWorld and Patrick stay on at Freo
Entering at exiting Fremantle Ports is a notorious bottleneck. Photo: Gabriel Oliveira

The two main operators at Fremantle Ports container terminal look set to stay until at least 2026, with the state government flagging discussions about infrastructure for container movements into the port to be a key priority in its negotiations.

The existing leases, to DP World and Patrick, were awarded in 1997 and expire in June.

Former transport minister Rita Saffioti put the new leases out to tender in May 2018, and they will be for seven year periods with two potential seven year extensions at the discretion of Fremantle Ports.

That will all be subject to the recommendations of the Westport taskforce into an outer harbour.

It was unclear at the time of writing how many businesses had tendered for the new leases.

Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the container terminal leases were important for the state’s economy.

“Negotiations will focus on the ability to address investment and operations plans to cater for expected trade growth in the years ahead, but also the efficiency of land transport movements of containers to and from the port,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“As part of this process Fremantle Ports will seek to further improve the efficiency of land transport movements of containers to and from the port, for the benefit of the community and industry.

“The container trade is of enormous importance to Western Australia and this tender process is being conducted in the context of deliberations by the Westport Taskforce, which is examining port and landside planning and development requirements to serve the state in the decades to come.”

Movement of containers into Fremantle has been a hot political issue in recent years, particularly with the construction of, and cancellation of, the Perth Freight Link.

About 16 per cent of Fremantle containers are transported by rail when ashore, the highest of any capital city port in Australia, according to December 2017 quarter data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.

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