APWP still fighting

Members of the Alternative Ports Working Party are continuing their fight against the industrialisation of the Point Lowly Peninsula, and have recently raised their ongoing concerns at a public discussion about the Environmental Impact Statement.

Several Alternative Ports Working Party members attended the meeting which was held on Tuesday, and party spokesperson Sid Wilson said it was encouraging to see community members asking well-thought out questions.

"It was pleasing to see the general community asking a range of questions regarding the EIS," Mr Wilson said.

"They varied from the environment through to the economics though to the impact of the recreational, residential and tourism capability on the Lowly

Peninsula."

Mr Wilson said the party's main concerns were the seabed disturbance at the jetty site and the departure channel for the port.

"The report mentions that there will be seabed disturbance creating turbidity," Mr Wilson said.

"The amount of material displaced and moved and where it ends up has not been fully investigated and explored and therefore the impact on sensitive reefs is unknown."

The report itself states it does not know the full impacts of the seabed disturbance and many residents voiced their concerns that the data provided was not thorough enough.

Mr Wilson said DAC representatives that addressed those in attendance on the night were not able to provide the answers residents were looking for, and the true impact on marine environment and the ecological repercussions were still not known.

Resident John Scott raised the notion of whether alternative locations were available for this project and if the proponents as well as the government had given adequate investigation and consideration into alternative locations.

Mr Scott said he believed an area south of Yarraville Shoal would still be able to provide all the benefits detailed by the project yet would eradicate many of the impacts the current location has.

Resident Richard Parker raised the question of whether the information being put forward by the interested parties was the full story.

Resident Kathy Bradley was also amongst those in attendance and raised concerns of the visual amenity and access that would be affected by the proposed deep sea port.

She said she was concerned the project would see the region lose a truly unique coastline area that would further impact on residential properties in the area and the potential for tourism.

However despite having her say, Ms Bradley and other locals shared the view that the project would go ahead and be a repeat of the losses to the community that occurred when the Santos facility was constructed.

However, Mr Wilson said it was still important that people consider what the project would mean for Whyalla and encouraged residents to make a submission and have their say.

The EIS statement is quite a lengthy document and Mr Wilson said he hoped the tight timeframe the public had to make a submission would not detract from the number of submissions made.

"Few people were concerned by the sake of a year's worth of scientific investigations that they were only given 30 working days to digest it," Mr Wilson said.

Mr Wilson said despite the lengthiness of the EIS the proponents had only given the minimum period for public submission- a tight timeframe for people to get to know what is happening on their doorstep.

Mr Wilson said he would be making a submission and like others would be interested to see the process going forward and what the community's involvement would be from this point onwards.

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