Clean Seas farm delayed

The Point Lowly Marina.
The Point Lowly Marina.

The opening of Clean Seas $20 million fish farm proposed for Whyalla has been delayed as negotiations continue between the company, the Whyalla City Council and the state government.

In an ASX announcement released on October 3 Clean Seas told investors the company was planning to resume their Whyalla operations in mid-2019.

"The delay has arisen as there are a number of outstanding arrangements to be resolved in order to resume use of the Point Lowly Marina and the Company has now missed the operating window to commence farming this year," read the announcement, which was signed off on by Chairman Terry O'Brien and CEO David Head.

"Point Lowly Marina is the closest suitable infrastructure to the Company's Fitzgerald Bay aquaculture leases, and use of this facility is key to the successful operation of the farm.

"The Company is currently engaging with the state government, who is the owner of the facility, and the local Council, who is a licensee of the facility, to progress options for the use of the marina.

"Once this has been finalised the Company would be in a position to complete its investment, recruitment of additional staff, and to commence farming in the next operational window, which would be mid-2020.

As a result of the delay Clean Seas has offered to redeploy its Whyalla-based staff recruited earlier this year to its existing farm sites in Port Lincoln and Arno Bay.

However Whyalla City Council Chris Cowley said council had 'listened to the local residents' concerns regarding the use of this marina and agree it is a recreational facility not suited to industrial use'.

"Industrial use (of the marina) would impact negatively on the use of this marina by locals and other boaties," he said.

"We are still negotiating with Clean Seas and the state government on solutions to some land based issues involved in this operation.

"We have offered the use of the Whyalla Marina, with some strict conditions, until the company is able to establish its own landing facilities in the Fitzgerald Bay region."

Mr Cowley said council had been involved in ongoing discussions with the state government about Clean Seas' bid. "That includes a meeting with Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll this week," he said.