BP’s oil refinery and Alcoa’s aluminum works contribute significantly to Kwinana’s status as one of Australia’s most important industrial centres.
On the great natural harbour of Cockburn Sound, about 20km south of Fremantle, and with Garden Island providing some protection from the Indian Ocean swells, Kwinana has the wreck of SS Kwinana off its beach to help attract the fish which lure anglers from far and wide.
The Kwinana had a disastrous history. Severely damaged by fire on Christmas Day in 1920 off Carnarvon while en route from Fremantle to Wyndham, she was returned to Fremantle in March, 1921, under escort. Although it was hoped to send her to the eastern states for a refit, she was declared a total loss after colliding next day with SS Port Stephens.
In December, 1921, she was towed to Garden Island in Cockburn Sound where her fittings were removed. During a gale on May 30, 1922, she broke anchor and was blown ashore near Kwinana to become a total wreck. Her remains were blown up in 1941, but the wreckage still remained visible on the beach for many years afterward.