The State Government will spend $3 million upgrading the Fremantle Passenger Terminal to attract more cruise ships and boost tourism.
But Fremantle's Mayor said it did not go far enough, and there was no starting date for a wider overhaul of South Quay into a tourism precinct.
On the first anniversary of his Government's election, Premier Mark McGowan was talking up jobs the refurbishment of the 1960s passenger terminal would bring.
"We believe in tourism. We want to see jobs created. Refurbishing this facility with what is admittedly, not a huge amount of money, but will make a huge difference," Mr McGowan said.
The outside of the heritage-listed building will be repainted, the entrance upgraded, and the foyer modernised.
"We're very keen to ensure that we get more cruise ships into Western Australia because we know they bring thousands of passengers itching to spend their money at our businesses," Mr McGowan said.
Ahead of the last election, Mr McGowan committed a Labor Government to developing "a world class tourism precinct and cruise ship terminus" at South Quay, estimated to create 18,000 jobs.
Planning Minister Rita Saffioti said a lot of work was being done on that, in conjunction with planning for a new outer harbour in Kwinana by the Wesport Taskforce.
But there was still no date as to when the holding yards for imported cars at South Quay would be shifted and the hotels and restaurants would be built as part of the new waterfront tourist development.
Fremantle Mayor Dr Brad Pettitt said it could not come fast enough.
"There's only so long they can do small works here and we still end up with a pretty substandard arrival point for the many thousands of visitors that come through Fremantle as part of cruises," Dr Pettitt said.
"So, whilst that work is a good small step, the main game is around removing the cars and reconnecting Fremantle through to the water."
The Government said that was being looked at.
"In the interim, what other potential changes can be made to move some services, or some port trade for example to Kwinana? And how that could allow for further development," Ms Saffioti said.
The passenger terminal upgrade is due to be finished in about six months.