West Australia campaign to promote road freight across Perth
WEST Australia's (WA) top freight industry body wants to send out the message that road freight across Perth is a positive, fast-paced and exciting industry, as part of a marketing campaign to most likely be featured on television and social media platforms
WEST Australia's (WA) top freight industry body wants to send out the message that road freight across Perth is a positive, fast-paced and exciting industry, as part of a marketing campaign to most likely be featured on television and social media platforms.
The campaign, discussed during a WA Port Operations Taskforce meeting in July, has been drawn up by WA research agency Painted Dog Research. Its objective is to shift people's perceptions about freight by sharing the stories of WA truck drivers to highlight the personal and social benefits of freight.
Fremantle Port is the only container port in WA. It is also among the most efficient in the country, and those arguing to keep container trade at the port say it will be many years before it hits capacity, reported Brisbane Times.
Freight on west Australian roads has long been a contested issue, with range of solutions put forwards over the years to ease overcrowding on metropolitan road freight routes.
One of the most controversial proposals was the extension of Roe Highway, which the McGowan government scrapped after coming into power in 2017.
Most of west Australia's freight comes through Fremantle port, which handles 1,000 ships and 700,000 TEU per year.
The Westport taskforce has been examining the options available to WA ports since 2017, and published an interim report last year which outlined the future of Fremantle's harbour.
The document identified that a lack of infrastructure to bring the trade in and out of the harbour was the main issue, rather than from the port's capacity itself, which has room to expand.
In the same meeting where WA Port Operations Taskforce discussed the marketing campaign, a Westport taskforce presented three different proposals to boost Fremantle port and address congestion along major transport routes.
If the report's proposed upgrades receive the go-ahead, trade could be increased to 3.8 million TEU, with 1.2 million TEU to be transported by rail and 2.6 million left to be trucked.
The most contentious proposal would see Leach Highway become a 'heavy vehicle trunk', with four lanes of unimpeded two-way traffic between South Street and the port, putting 70 homes on the line.
Two other proposals would see Anketell Road carry the weight of road freight from the harbour to Bindoon, linking with Latitude 32.
The proposal has been slammed by Shadow Transport Minister Libby Mettam, who said the upgrade would reduce Leach Highway access for residents and 'effectively make it the freeway of the south.'
She said the government was 'grasping at straws' for ways to deal with freight issues without extending Roe Highway and said the marketing campaign 'reeks of desperation.'
'Instead of actually just building a solution that could cope with the expected demand, the taskforce has been forced to look at band aid solutions to upgrade and fix local roads around the port,' said Ms Mettam.
WA Ports Minister Alannah MacTiernan said Westport taskforce was working through an array of options for a future container port, road and rail infrastructure, examining dozens of potential options for freight movements.
'The taskforce is consulting with key port users as it narrows down a shortlist of potential options for further investigation,' she said.