Fremantle Harbours Master Plan

In 2021 DoT undertook information sessions with stakeholder groups before work to refine the Draft Fremantle Harbours Master Plan.

Fremantle Boat Harbour Master Plan artist impression


As manager of all three harbours DoT commenced work to set the future vision for the harbours in 2019 and worked with the City of Fremantle, the Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage (DPLH), and other government agencies along with stakeholder groups including harbour operators and formulate a renewed vision statement:

  • Retain an authentic and diverse working harbour, enriched and diverse land uses, enhanced spaces for people, and connections to the City and its surrounds.

In 2020, DoT convened the Fremantle Harbours Activation Master Plan Steering Group including the City and DPLH to consider key issues associated with the future development of the harbours and prepare a draft Fremantle Harbours Master Plan for consultation with the broader community.

Project status

The public comment period for the draft Fremantle Harbours Master Plan has now closed and the project team is considering all feedback received.

In 2021 DoT undertook information sessions with stakeholder groups before work to refine the Draft Fremantle Harbours Master Plan.

The Plan includes:

  • maintaining an authentic working boat harbour focussing on the fishing industry, maritime services and associated commercial enterprises by retaining but relocating a large commercial boat lifting facility, providing for the berthing and provisioning of the growing superyacht sector and by promoting value-added fishing and commercial maritime activities;
  • improving connections with the harbours and reconnecting the city to the water through well-defined gateway entries with the extension of Norfolk Street, an upgrade of Wardan Lane to full movement and by strengthening the existing central Esplanade Reserve pedestrian entry;
  • diversifying the land use offering where appropriate and enhancing the visitor experience by identifying new development opportunities, improving the public realm, and providing more diverse water recreation opportunities; and,
  • providing functional and connected public spaces by the creation of vehicle/pedestrian shared zones and a coordinated program of betterment upgrades.
External Link Draft Fremantle Harbours Master Plan: My Say website survey

Artist impressions


Why is a Master Plan being prepared?

Both the Department of Transport (DoT) and the City of Fremantle recognised a need to establish a blueprint to guide the future development of the harbours and their connection to the Fremantle city centre and the port. The preparation of a Fremantle Harbours Master Plan will provide this framework and underpin business cases for future capital works.

What area does the draft Master Plan cover?

The draft Master Plan includes the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour and Challenger and Success Harbours. In addition, it considers the interface with the adjacent Esplanade Park, Bathers Beach, the rail line and Fremantle Port, as well as nearby residential and commercial development.

What are the main improvements being proposed?

The final Master Plan will be a vision for development in the next 40 years.

The initial draft Master Plan, now available for community comment, identifies potential redevelopment opportunities, improved maritime infrastructure and more diverse land uses, whilst maintaining a true working boat harbour.

The plan seeks to deliver a more accessible and livelier waterfront that is better linked to the city centre and Fremantle Port at the same time as stimulating redevelopment

How will the waterfront be made more accessible?

Three big changes will make it easier and more appealing to access the waterfront from Fremantle’s city centre.  

  • Two-way access will be introduced at Wardan Lane in the north of the harbour so that Mews Road can be utilised for events and activities without impacting access to the working boat harbour. 
  • Norfolk Street will be extended directly into Mews Road at the southern end, opening a view corridor straight to the water and significantly improving wayfinding to this iconic destination.
  • The Arundel Street entrance will be closed, reducing traffic along The Esplanade and limiting conflict points for cyclists and pedestrians.

The new waterfront will be more accessible to pedestrians, cyclists and alternative transport modes  with significant improvements and an opportunity to re-route the CAT bus right into the waterfront.

What’s proposed to make the waterfront livelier?

The draft Master Plan creates new land parcels that will be developed over the next 40 years that will bring people and life back to the water. 

By changing the road access points, Mews Road between Norfolk Street and Wardan Lane can be closed and utilised for events and activities. This space will be pedestrian first, reflecting cosmopolitan waterfront precincts around the world. 

New plazas and park lands will be developed both along the water and tucked in behind buildings for those days when the ‘Fremantle Doctor’ is a little bit chilling. New development will allow for accommodation in a mixed-use setting to bring people into the area night and day.

How does the plan better link the city centre and port to the harbours?

The draft Master Plan opens the door to direct linkages along Bathers Beach to the Port and along Norfolk Street and The Esplanade to the city centre through improved public spaces and pedestrian corridors, better visibility and views to the water and enhanced safety.

Who will be responsible for implementing and funding the projects and changes proposed in the Master Plan?

The final Fremantle Harbours Master Plan will be implemented by DoT, as manager of these facilities. The City of Fremantle will play an important role in its implementation, particularly in areas outside DoT’s management. 

The final Master Plan will be used to guide the preparation of business cases to inform future capital works projects. 

Some projects and upgrades specified in the Master Plan may be funded by different parties depending on land ownership and management details.

How has the Draft Fremantle Boat Harbours Master Plan been developed?

It is the result of a collaboration between DoT, City of Fremantle and Department Planning, Lands and Heritage under the oversight of a steering committee between these parties. The draft document has also been informed by historic community and stakeholder engagement.

How can I get involved?

The Draft Fremantle Harbours Master Plan is now available for comment My Say Transport website. The project team is keen to know what you think about the big ideas and upgrades being proposed. Fill in the short survey to provide your feedback and register your interest to receive project updates.

The comment period closes Sunday 4 September 2022.

How can I stay informed?

You can contact a member of the project team about the project or to receive updates by emailing at any time.


If you require further information about the project email the project team at 

External Link Draft Fremantle Harbours Master Plan: My Say website survey
Page last updated: Mon Sep 5 2022 9:34:43 AM