The announcement follows a nine-month campaign by the City of Kwinana to promote its Indian Ocean Gateway proposal – the outer harbour being the central focus – which involved hundreds of briefings with key representatives across political, private and community arenas.
The funding would allow a comprehensive business case on the outer harbour to be undertaken by Infrastructure Australia, which in a recent audit found that the current port in Fremantle would reach capacity in less than 10 years.
Kwinana Mayor Carol Adams said the outer harbour was the right port, in the right place, at the right time and “the right time is now".
“We congratulate the Labor government for making the outer harbour a key election promise. Clearly this demonstrates how crucial the issue is to WA’s social and economic wellbeing,” Mayor Adams said.
“Throughout all of the conversations we’ve had there has been overwhelming support for the outer harbour; especially when we talk about the tens of thousands of jobs that it will provide over the next 50 years.
“Representatives across all levels and parties of government, the private sector and the community at large understand the outer harbour is key to reinvigorating WA’s economy and future-proofing it for decades to come.”
Research has shown an outer harbour in Kwinana would create almost 25,000 direct new jobs and a further 38,000 indirect jobs, in addition to addressing congestion issues and improving freight transport links across the state.
Mayor Adams said discussions must rise above party politics for the benefit of Western Australian families and workers.
“This isn’t a short term political football, it’s the future trade nexus of container imports and freight movements in and throughout the state for the next half century,” she said.
“It has always been supported by both major parties; the only point of contention is when it should commence.”
“Experts from government, business and industry are crying out for it to commence immediately to enable WA to reclaim its position as the nation’s economic powerhouse.”