Letters 15.9.18

Storm brewing
WE were disappointed around the misrepresentation displayed in the story on the Westport Taskforce’s Environmental Workstream Report last week.
The risk assessment for the Kwinana area was a cumulative assessment of all the port options incorporated in the assessment – something like 26 different options including various channel options and ideas like island backed wharves, which were rejected by the Environmental Protection Agency previously and are never likely to happen.
Whereas a single option, like the James Point proposal, which was actually given approval by the EPA, will have far less risk to the environment.
We are not saying that there are no risks to Cockburn Sound.
Whatever occurs will hold risks, but apples need to be compared with apples, and the reading of this report as stated in the article was way out of context.
For example 20km of freight corridor was included in the Kwinana assessment, but nothing for the Fremantle freight corridor – basically because they knew that the community had already rejected the Perth Freight Link and damage to the Beeliar Wetlands on congestion, noise, air quality, safety and loss of social and environmental amenity grounds.
We have recently seen wild claims about damage to the Cockburn Sound that an expanded Kwinana port will have, like one million cubic metres of the Cockburn Sound to be dredged, land will be excised from the state and laws abolished.
Total fabrications that only the gullible or those willing to believe because of their preconceived ideas will accept.
We have been pleased to see that stakeholders in the reference group continually back sustainability principles as key to this future – that is it must be socially, environmentally and economically sound. We look forward to Westport’s ‘What we have found so far’ report due out in October.
Kim Dravnieks
Chair, Western Harbours Alliance
The Ed says: It was a pretty straight take on the report given that Westport is looking at all options, and included the finding that nothing had be found to rule out a Kwinana port, as well as the fact the Fremantle option hadn’t included the freight corridor.

Betrayed
THOSE of us who spent so much of our time and energy defeating Roe 8 have every right to feel betrayed by the Fremantle mayor and council.
They believe that container handling should be maintained at North Quay, provided the associated land-side transport arrangements have no greater impact on the local community than current port operations.
Well, thanks for small mercies, council, but the ‘current port operations’, principally the container trucks, are not in any way what our little community was either designed for, or wishes to endure.
The romantic notion of the ‘working port’ revolves around wharfies living in Fremantle and walking to work, and busy freight and customs offices in the West End, with clerks walking to and fro between them, clutching pieces of paper. These days it’s electronic communications and wharfies more likely to drive in from somewhere else.
The current container port no doubt contributes substantially to the city’s economy, but its ultimate replacement by a compatible style of ‘working port’, residential precinct and tourist hub, would have an enormous positive impact. The council owes it to its residents to get solidly behind the development of the outer harbour.
Gerard MacGill
Harvest Road, North Fremantle

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