Working party says 'act now'

The Alternative Ports Working Party is calling on the Whyalla community to show its support for Point Lowly before it is too late.

In its quest to prevent the industrialisation of the Point Lowly Peninsula, the party is contributing to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) currently being undertaken by the consortium developing the bulk facility.

One third of the consortium, Flinders Port Holdings, has hired a team of experts from Arup to analyse the impact of the facility.

Alternative Ports Working Party spokesperson Sid Wilson said it was crucial for the community to know it could contribute to the process.

"It is important for people to know it is happening because we will only get as good a result that the community sets out to contribute," he said.

"It is up to us to give them current information, impressions, thoughts and views so they can then do their EIS based on community input that they are asking for."

Representatives from the party met with Arup senior specialist Marissa Powell on Tuesday to voice their views on the Port Bonython Bulk Export Facility.

Mr Wilson said there were several issues the party wanted to discuss with Arup, which they believed would affect the environment and community.

"The major issues that we see, as the alternative port group, is the restricted amount of deep water in Upper Spencer Gulf and the potential risk to the marine environment that might result because of noise, turbulence and turbidity from the big ship propellers," he said.

"Also the fact that we are going to give up a significant natural resource that we need for our recreation, our livability and tourism to industry and infrastructure."

Since the project was announced in 2008, the party has been pushing for the facility to be built at an alternative location such as Nonowie, south of Whyalla.

Mr Wilson said he was concerned the Whyalla community was not fully aware of the impact the facility would have on the overall appearance and environmental health of the peninsula.

"We want to get the message across that it is not just a little area of land that is going to be impacted, it is the whole peninsula eventually," he said.

Arup has identified the area which will be assessed in the EIS but Mr Wilson said the impact would extend further than the outlined zone.

"We accept that they have to nominate a footprint for the impact but we also press on them that the impact will go further into the marine environment and further down the gulf," he said.

Mr Wilson said the industry carried out in the designated area had the potential to affect the environment as far as Yarraville Shoal, which is located 25 kilometres south of Whyalla.

The party encourages the community to have its say by contacting Arup and to keep in mind a similar EIS was conducted 35 years ago when Santos came to the peninsula, resulting in the loss of Weeroona Bay beach.

"Once it is done, it's done, we need to act now before it is too late," Mr Wilson said.

 SPEAK NOW: The Environmental Impact Statement for the Port Bonython Bulk Export Facility is currently being undertaken and the Alternative Ports Working Party is encouraging the local community to have their say about the industrialisation of the Point Lowly Peninsula. The map shows the area the facility will locate.

SPEAK NOW: The Environmental Impact Statement for the Port Bonython Bulk Export Facility is currently being undertaken and the Alternative Ports Working Party is encouraging the local community to have their say about the industrialisation of the Point Lowly Peninsula. The map shows the area the facility will locate.