KIPT acquires additional land for proposed seaport at Smith Bay

KIPT LAND: KIPT now controls a total of approximately 225 hectares at Smith Bay, including a new option to acquire 41 hectares, identified as "Option to acquire" in the aerial photo above.
KIPT LAND: KIPT now controls a total of approximately 225 hectares at Smith Bay, including a new option to acquire 41 hectares, identified as "Option to acquire" in the aerial photo above.

Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers has announced to the Australian Stock Exchange that it has acquired additional land for its proposed seaport at Smith Bay.

The statement to the ASX states KIPT is pleased to announce it has negotiated an option to acquire 41 hectares adjacent to its existing land.

The option becomes exercisable on the approval of the seaport, allowing the company to acquire the land for the minimum price of $600,000. The option will extend five years and the land includes a dwelling.

The company has also paid the landowner $10,000 to receive expert advice.

KIPT in the announcement states the additional land would allow it to change the intersection geometry at the turn off from the main road to accommodate high-productivity vehicles.

The land would also create a  truck parking and driver rest area or an additional pine log stockpile. And lastly, allow the realignment of the heavy vehicle route from the main road to the seaport.

“Subject to relevant consents, the company also has the opportunity to rehabilitate a longer section of Smith Creek, the degraded condition of which is an acknowledged source of water quality problems for the onshore aquaculture business that is located further east on Smith Bay,” the statement reads. 

“Including the land which is subject of the option, the company now controls a total of approximately 225 hectares at Smith Bay. The company may dispose of some surplus land and may seek to acquire other land parcels in the area.”

KIPT managing director John Sergeant said the new land acquisition gave the company more options for access but what he was most interested in was the rehabilitation of the creek.

But the abalone farm operators Yumbah Aquaculture remains concerned about the impact of the proposed development on its operation and the environment.

“What first started as a jetty, later became a deep-water wharf, and now it is being called the mysterious ‘KI Seaport’. Where will this stop?” Yumbah KI general manager David Connell said.

“When will the Major Project process halt and a new scope be required to reflect the completely different project that KPT seems to be attempting?

“When will the truth start to flow from KPT to its neighbours and the KI community? Or does KPT plan to simply buy out concerned neighbours until it owns all of Smith Bay?

“The original wharf itself will destroy Yumbah Aquaculture in Smith Bay. Who knows what harm the real project will do to other KI businesses?”

“There’s obviously a much bigger, secret plan for Smith Bay that’s well beyond what they’re claiming in the Environmental Impact Statement we’ve been waiting for, for how long?”

Mr Sergeant however strongly disputed any claims that the scope of the project had changed, noting that it was the same proposal that received Major Project status. 

KIPT’s plan was to export both whole pine saw logs and blue gum wood chips, but that any chipping of logs would most likely take place out in the field and be a mobile operation. About 20 per cent of plantations on KI were pine and these trees had the most value as whole logs. 

In other recent developments, SA Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government and Minister for Planning, Stephan Knoll visited both KIPT and Yumbah Aquaculture when he visited Kangaroo Island on August 21.

Mr Sergeant said he encouraged the Minister to visit Yumbah and find out what the concerns were.

KIPT has stated it was planning to release its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the seaport proposal at the end of September. 

The publicly-listed company plans to build a 250-metre-long causeway and wood chip exporting facility at Smith Bay on the north coast of Kangaroo Island. 

The development received Major Project status from the previous State Labor Government and an EIS needs to be submitted and all objections to be addresses for the project to proceed.

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