Seaport design revised for environment and neighbours

An artist's impression of the revised jetty design at the KI Seaport.

No dredging and no solid causeway: the revised design for the Kangaroo Island Seaport at Smith Bay addresses the concerns of neighbours and also environmental issues.

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers has responded to issues raised in the public consultation process in May about the potential impact of seabed dredging on the environment and the neighbouring aquaculture facility. Issues were also raised about effects on natural coastal processes and these have been addressed by amending the jetty design to remove the solid causeway section in favour of a fully piled structure.

A formal document outlining these revisions will be submitted to the State and Commonwealth governments later this month.

The Major Projects development assessment process in South Australia is designed to allow and encourage projects to be modified to address public and agency comments. KIPT has modified its design in response to comments from government, the nearby onshore aquaculture facility, neighbours and private citizens.

An artist’s impression of the berth face of the revised jetty at the KI Seaport.

“KPT considered that the risks posed by these factors could be managed and eliminated within its original design by applying appropriate protocols and safeguards. Even so, the Company has been encouraged to further reduce the dredge quantity and to provide a mechanism for water circulation,” KIPT managing director Keith Lamb said.

He said KIPT had modified the design of in-water structures:

  • To eliminate any need for capital or maintenance dredging, by moving the berth face about 250m further offshore, to the natural -14m seabed contour.
  • To utilise a fully piled jetty structure instead of a solid causeway, so that natural coastal processes will be uninterrupted.

The KIPT board resolved that the cost impact of these design enhancements (which is estimated to be about $9 million) was likely to be more than offset by:

  1. The benefits to the marine environment;
  2. The increased separation of the berth face from sensitive receptors;
  3. The removal of any remaining obstacles to a timely approval decision by government; and
  4. The fact that the landside part of the construction project is simplified, because there will be no requirement for on-land dredge spoil de-watering and processing. This means that landside works can occur simultaneously with marine construction activity, bringing forward the export of woodchips.

The Company will shortly lodge an addendum to formally modify its development application and is working with the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure on determining and completing the remaining steps in the development assessment process.

An artist’s impression of the revised jetty design at the KI Seaport.

In addition to its concerns about dredging, Yumbah Aquaculture, the owner of the onshore abalone farm at Smith Bay, said in its submission: “The only option to protect coastal currents is an open-piled jetty with the berth pocket extended further offshore.” This is what the Company now proposes to do.

Mr Lamb said KIPT had considered Yumbah’s submission carefully.

“We have taken our neighbours at their word and have modified the project as they have requested, to eliminate the sources of their principal concerns. We now hope that Yumbah will withdraw its objections to our wharf, and we look forward to working co-operatively with them to deliver a great outcome for both businesses, and increased prosperity for the Island community.

“The trees are ready, the customers are ready, our construction partners are ready, and we are keen to get the project under way so that hundreds of new jobs can be created.

“We are building a facility of which the community can be proud, in a way that respects the environment and our neighbours. We trust that all remaining commentary can be conducted in a similarly respectful manner, and with a focus on getting the best possible outcome for all stakeholders,” Mr Lamb said.