Wooden welcome at Freo harbour

THE WA transport department denies it’s priced wooden vessels out of Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, but admits just six are moored there.

In response to former WA premier and traditional boat enthusiast Peter Dowding’s claim that management of the harbour had been bungled (Herald, May 30, 2015), the department says increases in pen numbers—taken up by cruisers—have made it more sustainable.

Coastal infrastructure acting manager Donna West told the Herald 131 new or upgraded pens had been added to the harbour in six years, and another $3.8 million was recently allocated to reconstruct a jetty.

Ms West says the state’s fishing fleet has shrunk, but there’s still space allocated at the harbour.

“There is now a broader revenue base and a larger critical mass of vessels for the harbour-based marine support businesses,” she says, adding traditional boats have been moored there for up to 20 years and pen fees had risen no more than CPI in recent years. There are no discounts for wooden boats.

Ms West acknowledges there aren’t any planning strategies that single out traditional boats or builders, but there is one that outlines the primary function of the harbour as being for the fishing fleet.


9. Kardinya Park 40x7

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