The Gallop Government will strongly oppose the shock nomination of Fremantle’s Inner Harbour on the National Heritage List.
Planning and Infrastructure Minister Alannah MacTiernan said the Inner Harbour listing threatened the viability of one of WA’s most important working ports at a time when the State economy was booming.
Ms MacTiernan called on Federal Heritage Minister Ian Campbell to immediately reject the nomination.
“It is clear from the advertisement for public comment that the nomination covers all of Victoria Quay, all of the North Quay berths, the water within the Inner Harbour and also the South Mole,” she said.
“The listing of such an extensive area would threaten the efficiency of one of the busiest ports in Australia - Senator Campbell must knock this nomination on the head straight away.
“It is astounding that Fremantle Ports received no notification from Senator Campbell’s office nor the Australian Heritage Council of the nomination.
“To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time a major Australian working port has been subject to such a nomination, setting a dangerous precedent for export trade in our island nation.”
If approved, Fremantle Ports would have to submit a detailed heritage management plan to the Federal Minister.
Based on experience of having to develop a conservation plan for the western end of Victoria Quay, following its listing on the State Interim Register of Heritage Places - there are fears that a management plan for the entire area could take up to three years to complete.
“For any works not specified in the national plan, Fremantle Ports would have to submit a development application to the Australian Heritage Council,” Ms MacTiernan explained.
“This would result in delays in work required for operational areas such as berths, fendering, sea walls and port infrastructure - not to mention the implications for future dredging programs.
“The last thing we need is another level of Federal bureaucracy threatening Western Australia’s export infrastructure.
“This is an unacceptable situation and comes hot on the heels of the Federal Government’s fiasco with the $250million Customs computer system, which has impacted significantly on freight operations at Fremantle.
“I will be writing to Senator Campbell expressing our opposition to the nomination in the strongest terms.”
Minister's office - 9213 6400