The Fremantle Chamber of Commerce strongly believes that any potential loss of the Fremantle Port from the inner harbour must be offset with appropriate transport infrastructure links to South Beach, Shoreline, North Coogee, the Australian Marine Complex, Kwinana Industries Council and Garden Island industrial precincts.

The lack of appropriate transport down this growing coastal corridor limits not only the development of these important and strategic sites, but also limits access to Fremantle for those wishing to work, live, visit and recreate in the area.

This limits the execution of the vision of Fremantle as an important urban centre connected to its traditional residential and industrial heartland.

The lack of any consideration of a transport link to the growing southern corridor is also impacting on South Beach residential growth, the ability of the City to target Fremantle for events and conferences from the large scale industry to its immediate south, and the ability of Fremantle to continue to attract and grow its residential base.

The removal of the southern loop of the originally proposed Metrolink, nor consideration of existing infrastructure to provide these transit links is required at all levels of government.

The Fremantle Chamber has been actively advocating for planning for a rail corridor between Fremantle, South Beach, Port Coogee and the Australian Marine Complex since 2018. Recent media coverage achieved through lobbying for this issue is attached here.


To improve Southern and Eastern Transport links to Fremantle, as an urban centre for residential living for professionals and workers at Australian Marine Complex, Kwinana Industry Council and Garden Island, as well as headquarters for Defence engineering, communications and professional personnel. This can complement growing infrastructure needs required to service population growth along North Coogee and Cockburn.

Development and Infrastructure Project Team

Pete Adams (Yolk Property), Bob Shields (Investor), Danicia Quinlan (FCC CEO)

Work Done to Date

Quantifying and Scope and Business Case for:

  • Residential and employment profiles required for Fremantle into the future, the Australian Marine Complex (AMC), Kwinana Industries Council (KIC) and Cockburn/North Coogee residential developments (see below)
  • The potential to transition use of the southern container railway line to be passenger based (e.g the originally floated Southern Circle as part of Metrolink)
  • Review scope for Murdoch – Fremantle Light Rail Proposal and South West Group lobbying and whether this adequately covers the southern coastal corridor to Fremantle.
  • Creation of a map using existing transport corridors to highlight nodes of consideration.
  • Generating a list of the players and stakeholders who can make a difference in this area and what they would be willing to contribute.

The Stakeholders Consulted to Date

  • Minister for Transport, Planning & Ports and Opposition Minister (discussions in progress)
  • Australian Marine Complex Common User Facility
  • KIC, AMC, and Defence lead organisations (discussions in progress)
  • Infrastructure WA CEO, Deputy and Policy Adviser
  • Fremantle Ports
  • City of Cockburn Director of Planning
  • City of Fremantle Mayor, CEO and Director of Planning (discussions in progress)
  • Rockingham Chamber of Commerce
  • CCI WA Chief Economist
  • South West Group

Identified Stakeholders to Assist in Business Case Development

  • Development WA – Latitude 32 and South Beach/Port Coogee developments
  • Property developers involved in apartment construction at South Beach, North Coogee and Shoreline
  • South West Group – commitment now received from City of Fremantle and City of Cockburn to look to fund planning study for potential transport corridor

Case studies

Rationale for Northern metro link, and why Southern Circle Route was taken off the table. Link to original MetroNet Proposal with Southern Loop here.

Southwest Metro Rapid Transit Network Study – Parsons Brinckerhoff link.

City of Cockburn Integrated Transport Study link.

Upcoming Opportunities

Westport Next Steps Announcement

Navy Capacity Infrastructure Sub Program: Facilities to Support New Navy Capabilities Project Announcement

Shoreline, North Coogee and Latitute 32 next stage developments

Further Background and Evidence

Fremantle is one of Western Australia’s most frequented and popular urban centres in the State – a historic Port city that attracts residents and visitors in their millions annually.

Westport announcement on the future of Fremantle Ports – with most options touting Port infrastructure development to be focused on Kwinana in the medium term. The Kwinana Industries Council (KIC), Australian Marine Complex (AMC) and Defence activities including engineering, communications and professional personnel are all on track for significant growth in the short term.

As the closest urban centre to the project we would like the opportunity to promote the benefits that a Fremantle residential base can provide to these workers. Yet there is no consideration to the role of effective transport links for residents and employees to help facilitate this growth.

It currently takes 57 minutes from Cockburn Central (530 bus) to the Port City via bus public transport, and 48 minutes from the KIC (549 bus) and 40 minutes from Australian Marine Complex (548 bus).

The Mandurah rail line has demonstrated the expediential growth that occurs in public transport by rail, compared with bus, with a 19% growth in rail usage and total figure comparisons showing bus at 14,000 passengers per day, with rail at 55,000 passengers per day.

The City of Fremantle are currently targeting an addition 1,500 dwellings, 70,000m2 A grade commercial office space and 20,000 m2 additional retail floor space. Growth for transport services are also required to meet the Department of Communities and Transport move into Kings Square in March (will see 1,600 new employees to Fremantle Centre) and currently there are no fast connection coastal transit routes for these workers to get to Fremantle. This is projected growth is evidenced below by the additional $1.3 pipeline for development approvals within the City.

North Coogee has the one of the highest percentage population growth rates in Greater Perth with annual growth of 7.1% from July 2019 to June 2020.

The City of Cockburn grew from a population of 114,389 to 117,352 over the same period with an annual growth rate of 2.6%. There is significant infill residential development planned in this area, much of it already delivered.

Cockburn Coast is master-planned to accommodate:

  • 6,000 dwellings, circa 12,500 people
  • 3,000 jobs
  • Up to 125,000sqm retail and commercial space at full build
  • Primary School

The Port Coogee Local Structure Plan was based on delivery of a high priority public transport link connecting Port Coogee to Fremantle Station and to Cockburn Central Station (using Cockburn Road) Most of the Port Coogee estate is within 400m of the proposed Cockburn Road high priority public transport link. This development includes:

  • 2,000 dwellings, circa 4,500 people. Regis Aged Care with 120 beds (existing)
  • Circa 7,000sqm of retail space (existing and proposed)
  • 300 berth serviced marina, the only facility of its type between Fremantle and Mandurah

Cockburn Sound is one of the most extensively used marine recreational areas linked to the greater Fremantle Area, with a wide variety of opportunities for passive and active recreation. It includes:

  • 4 x very well used family friendly public beaches, including a shark netted beach, but with limited public transport accessibility.
  • The annual Coogee Live event attracts 25,000 people over a single weekend
  • Omeo Shipwreck is one the the top 10 dive sites in Western Australia and its associated Maritime Dive and Snorkel Trail is also well used.

South Beach Recreation Reserve, Manning Lake Bushland, Beeliar Regional Park and Woodman Point Regional Park provide extensive walk trails and bike paths and opportunities for passive and active recreation

Built heritage such as the Woodman Lighthouse, Azelia Ley Museum, lime kilns, and Woodman Point are important attractors in the region.

Former Power Station offers genuine opportunities for value capture in the Former Power Station, significant potential for redevelopment integrated with the development of Cockburn Coast.

The AMC Common User Facility reports significant traffic congestion in and out of the facility, with an average of 500-800 cars per day for this tiny part of the overall AMC. Further data investigations are underway to look at other data on movements through this corridor.

The marine and engineering think tank 2019 showed a reluctance by marine industries to relocate their headquarters from the lifestyle offered to their employees and clients from Fremantle down to Henderson. However, without adequate transport between the centres they felt this was going to be their only option in future. The cost would be loss of professional talent who will be attracted to take up opportunities in more urban centres.

A link back to Fremantle restores the greater Fremantle’s regions historic connection to the Port City for retail and recreation. The recent Christmas campaigns, run by the City of Fremantle, shows a retail shopping draw to be clearly along the southern corridor – again with no significant transport links to accommodate this (see attached). The City’s carparking infrastructure is at capacity and widely criticised yet there is limited transport infrastructure down this corridor leaving visitors no other option but to travel in by car.

Projected Growth in Connections Required for Fremantle

Murdoch University and Health Precinct

Murdoch University and the Murdoch Hospital and Health Precinct attract nearly 30,000 people transiting there per day. Many of the workers in these environments are international and have come from large international urban centres which brings with it an expectation of not suburban living, but urban living – something Fremantle offers in history, heritage and retail/entertainment precincts.

The cities of Fremantle and Melville are exploring the idea of trackless trams along South Street as one idea to improve public transport in the region. Both councils have chipped in $40,000 for a light rail feasibility study, while the South West Group has put in $20,000. The study aims to build a case for the State Government to include the Melville to Fremantle route as part of Metronet in the future.

Southern Industrial Transport Population Draw

The KIC directly employs approximately 4,800 people (64% live locally), and provides indirect employment to approximately another 26,000 people. – one of the most interconnected industrial precincts in the world. The AMC directly employs a significant number of other works across its cycle of activities.

The Navy Capacity Infrastructure Sub Program: Facilities to Support New Navy Capabilities Project is projecting 1,959 full time equivalent at HMAS Stirling and 352 full time equivalent jobs at Henderson which also represent a significant opportunity for Fremantle.

Southern Transport Population Draw

The City of Cockburn has experienced a growth of around 14% in population between 2011 and 2016, much of this growth in down the southern coastal routes, rather than just centred around Cockburn Central. In addition, the majority of City of Cockburn residents find employment in Fremantle and its surrounding suburbs.

For more information, or to contribute to this project, please contact Fremantle Chamber’s Membership and Committee Officer.