Packed like sardines

• Freo’s town hall was packed for a forum on the future of the city’s port.

ABOUT 600 people attended a forum on the future of Fremantle’s port last week to hear from port, logistics and transport experts.

Organised by the Maritime Union of Australia’s North Fremantle branch, panelists argued that Fremantle’s port was best positioned to handle the state’s growing trade needs into the future.

MUA deputy secretary Adrian Evans pointed out that Sydney’s port handles 2.4 million container movements every year – more than double Fremantle – yet Perth’s population wasn’t expected to get near Sydney’s current level until after 2050.

Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt outlined his council’s desire to keep container traffic through Fremantle, albeit with a cap, but that position has been criticised by his old sustainability professor Peter Newman and the Western Harbour Alliance as inefficient and unworkable.

Another key speaker on the night was Tim Barlow from Fish Army, who’s concerned about fish stocks in Cockburn Sound if a new harbour is built in Kwinana.

Here’s the first part of his speech. To read the rest, head to http://www.fremantleherald.com. There’s also a Thinking Allowed by Peter Newman on Fremantle port on page 13.

by STEVE GRANT

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