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 Murdoch, North Coogee and the AMC, KIC and Garden Island industrial precincts. The lack of coastal corridor transport – north and south – limits access to the City for its growing number of workers, and those wishing to visit and recreate in the area. This is having a negative impact both on future growth for the City and parking limitations within the City.

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 draw in its residential heartland.

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.


To improve Southern and Eastern Transport links to Fremantle, as an urban centre for residential living for professionals and workers at Kwinana Industry Council, Australian Marine Complex 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, yje 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.

Determine the Stakeholders

  • Minister for Transport and Opposition Minister (discussions in progress)
  • KIC, AMC, and Defence (discussions in progress)
  • Fremantle Ports
  • City of Cockburn Mayor, CEO and Director of Planning
  • City of Fremantle Mayor, CEO and Director of Planning
  • Rockingham Chamber of Commerce
  • Director of Planning WA
  • Development WA – Latitude 32 and South Beach/Coogee developments
  • Property developers involved in apartment construction at North Coogee
  • Generating a list of the players and stakeholders who can make a difference in this area and what they would be willing to contribute

Case studies

Rationale for Northern metro link, and why Southern Circle Route was taken off the table.

Upcoming Opportunities

Release of Westport findings

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

KIC Lithium and battery projects

Completion of North Coogee and Latitute 32 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 is about to make an 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.

January had the highest number of visitors to the local tourist Visitors Information Centre on record, and this looks set to grow. The recent Christmas campaign 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.