The PortLink concept ultimately links Port Hedland, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Esperance and Geraldton and has the potential to build a stronger and more flexible transport network.

Photo of Esperance

  The public consultation period has now closed

The Department of Transport recently invited public comment on corridor options for a heavy vehicle bypass road, freight rail realignment around the Kalgoorlie-Boulder town centre, and locations for a potential intermodal terminal (IMT).

The public comment period closed on 1 November 2013

Thank you for your input during the community consultation period, all comments received have been considered and analysed.

A preferred road corridor option has been endorsed by the Steering Committee and is now subject to more detailed investigation.

Further work is needed to resolve the rail corridor option with a focus on the above-rail operational issues.  This work has commenced and it is expected that an outcome from this additional analysis will be known in the first half of 2014.

The Department of Transport will provide feedback on the preferred road-rail corridors and intermodal terminal location from the community consultation once the additional rail investigations are complete and have been endorsed by the Steering Committee.

ABOUT_PortLink_KRRR_Info_Brochure.pdf icon Kb
ABOUT_PortLink_KRRR_Road_Preferred_Options.pdf icon Kb
ABOUT_PortLink_KRRR_Rail_IMT_Preferred_Options.pdf icon Kb
ABOUT_PortLink_KRRR_All_Rail_Options.pdf icon Kb
ABOUT_PortLink_KRRR_All_Road_Options.pdf icon Kb
ABOUT_PortLink_KRRR_All_IMT_Options.pdf icon Kb
ABOUT_PortLink_Community_Consultation_QA.pdf icon Kb

  What is PortLink?

PortLink is a large-scale nation building project that seeks to create a more robust State freight network and open up the Goldfields-Esperance, Pilbara and Mid West regions to development opportunities.

PortLink has the support of both the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments. The State Government's Royalties for Regions program has committed $5 million, and the Commonwealth Government, through the Nation Building program, has committed $2 million for the planning and investigation of the PortLink concept.

The project was initially championed by the Regional Development Commissions and Department of Regional Development (DRD) with the endorsement of the Regional Development Council. The Department of Transport (DoT) is now the lead agency with support from DRD for PortLink and is charged with progressing transport planning investigations associated with the project.


Unprecedented growth in the State's mineral rich resource areas has created exceptional demand for goods and services. This has led to increases in freight movements from the eastern states to Western Australia (WA), through Kalgoorlie to Perth.

One of the main aims of the PortLink project is to provide a regional alternative to Perth as a distribution point for interstate general freight.

The new and upgraded regional road and rail infrastructure, proposed as part of the PortLink project, also has the potential to link the ports of Fremantle, Esperance, Port Hedland, Geraldton and the future port of Oakajee with the rich mineral resource areas of the State's hinterland. The development of an intermodal freight logistics hub in Kalgoorlie will provide better connection to the eastern states.

Project brochure

For more information on the PortLink project you can download the following project brochure:

ABOUT_PortLink_InlandFreightCorridorDevtPlan.pdf icon Kb

  Project activities

A number of major PortLink planning studies are currently underway to investigate and test the technical, economic, environmental and social merits and feasibility of the overall PortLink concept.

Planning studies to investigate the benefits and costs of establishing an intermodal terminal in Kalgoorlie, a new road and rail realignment around Kalgoorlie and new and/or upgraded road/rail links from Kalgoorlie into the Pilbara, Mid-West and Esperance regions are to be undertaken over the time period from 2012 - 2014.

Findings from the investigations will assist Government and industry to make further decisions relating to future financial commitments for the implementation of the project.

The planning studies to be undertaken over the period from 2012 - 2014 include:

Economic feasibility and logistics analysis and preliminary site selection for a proposed intermodal terminal in Kalgoorlie

This study will establish the technical and operational feasibility of a potential intermodal terminal in the Kalgoorlie area. A preferred location (or locations) and the associated cost, operational requirements, timeframe, terminal design and land needs will be identified including any necessary rail and road realignments to support the preferred location.

Kalgoorlie rail realignment and integration with the proposed north west road bypass

This study will define a road and rail freight transport corridor alignment for the Kalgoorlie area including the detailed planning required for the realignment of the existing freight rail system that runs through the City of Kalgoorlie and integration with the proposed north west road bypass alignment.

Consultation with the community, businesses and industry will be an important aspect of this study.

Planning for the upgrade of the Goldfields Highway between Wiluna and Meekatharra

This project will plan, design and cost the upgrading of the Highway and will define land reservation needs taking into consideration necessary environmental and heritage assessments, geotechnical studies and waterways assessments.

Inland freight corridors and direct road link to the Great Northern Highway

This study will assess the case for new transport links from the Esperance Goldfields region to the Mid West and Pilbara regions, including transport demand, environmental, heritage and community impacts, as well as considering the role and impact of the proposed Kalgoorlie intermodal terminal.

  PortLink funding and governance

Five million dollars has been allocated to the PortLink project from the State Government's Royalties for Regions program over 2012-13 and 2013-14. Two million dollars is proposed to be contributed by the Commonwealth Government's Nation Building 1 Program over the 2012-13 and 2013-14 financial years.

The PortLink governance structure comprises a high level Steering Committee, a Technical Working Group (TWG) and a Stakeholder Reference Group (SRG). Figure 1 shows the PortLink governance structure.

The PortLink Steering Committee's (PSC) role is to provide strategic direction for the PortLink concept.

The Steering Committee will coordinate and identify areas of priority to the PortLink concept and provide high level guidance to the member agencies on the direction and delivery of projects that fall within the PortLink concept.

The PortLink Steering Committee will:

  • Receive and note overview reports on significant issues and achievements in the implementation of PortLink projects.
  • Perform a decision making role with regard to the direction, continuation or change of significant aspects of PortLink projects.
  • Ensure that regional development policy is considered in the development of all PortLink projects.
  • Consider recommendations on funding allocations and project priorities.
  • Present reports, funding requests and project and policy advice relating to the PortLink concept to the Minister for Regional Development and Lands and the Minister for Transport for consideration.
Figure 1: PortLink governance structure

  What are the benefits of PortLink?

The underlying theme of PortLink is the creation of economic and development opportunities in regional Western Australia.

PortLink has the potential to:

  • Increase opportunities for new mines in the Yilgarn and the Mid West region by opening up new access routes to export ports.
  • Attract more business to the Kalgoorlie area via a new intermodal freight terminal linking intra and interstate roads and railways.
  • Introduce alternative freight and logistics options and an alternative to Perth as the central distribution point for interstate freight.
  • Remove the existing freight rail line from the centre of Kalgoorlie and reduce the number of heavy freight vehicles on roads thereby improving transport safety and enhancing social benefits to the community.
  • Distribute a range of freight types from the east coast destined for the northern regions of WA from Kalgoorlie, saving a distance of about 600 kilometres travelled.
  • Reduce the freight task carbon footprint and improve the economies of scale for transport and resource companies.
  • Enhance transport security by providing a more robust and reliable freight network which is better able to deal with adverse seasonal weather conditions, and accidents that can cause closure of routes or delays in freight transport.

  Your opinion counts

The Department of Transport is leading the procurement and management of the PortLink planning studies.

As these studies progress and as information becomes available, further stakeholder consultation, with assistance from the Goldfields-Esperance Development Commission and other development commissions, will occur. This will ensure stakeholders are well informed and involved in the decision making process.

A Stakeholder Reference Group will be established to ensure the regional community and industry stakeholders are represented and able to provide their specialised knowledge and input into the planning process.

Your views on the PortLink project are important

For more information about PortLink, register your interest or to find out about further community consultation opportunities, please contact the Project Manager.

Street address Postal address Telephone Fax Email

  Ports related links


Page last updated: Thu Dec 24 2015 2:32:41 PM