Kangaroo Island stakeholders and conservation groups are digesting the 1500-page Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed deep-water port at Smith Bay.
The document outlining the major project was prepared by Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers and released by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure on Thursday, March 28.
KIPT issued a statement on the Australian Stock Exchange upon DPTI releasing the document.
The EIS is now on public consultation until May 28 and is available online at www.sa.gov.au/planning/majordevelopments
The Islander contacted various stakeholders to gauge their reaction to the release of the EIS.
One of the most vocal opponents to the proposed project at Smith Bay is the Yumbah company that farms abalone directly adjacent to the proposed port.
"The EIS will conveniently not address the unknown, unplanned environmental, social and economic impact of the proposal, and will not address the genuine and widespread concerns that include road capability and safety, protection of water quality and existing amenity," Yumbah director Anthony Hall said.
"To be absolutely clear, Yumbah supports better transport and freight options for Kangaroo Island. We are, after all, an export business.
"However, alternative sites are available which will not destroy Yumbah's world class aquaculture business and no incremental benefit for KPT can justify the destruction of Smith Bay."
Business KI chairperson Sharon Kauppila meanwhile urged all KI residents to review the EIS and make submission.
"I encourage all business and people on KI to get involved in the process and raise any issues you may have," Mrs Kauppila said. "Raising concerns will make sure all the issues are addressed."
KI developer and supporter of the project, Caj Amadio said, "To improve lifestyle for all Islanders and allow struggling businesses the opportunity to become viable, this project must be given the greatest possible support."
KI Council acting CEO Greg Georgopoulos said the EIS document had been supplied to each of the councillors.
He expected it could be raised at the April 9 council meeting and that he was also willing to allocate time in an informal gathering to discuss the issue.
Also wanting a say is the AusOcean research company, founded by former Google engineering director and part-time Island resident Alan Noble.
"AusOcean is finalising its own independent Smith Bay marine ecology report, which will be freely available from the AusOcean website," Mr Noble said.
"After conducting a series of extensive marine life surveys at Smith Bay and other North Coast locations over the summer, AusOcean has formed the view that Smith Bay is highly worthy of conservation as several rare and protected species of marine flora and fauna have been identified. We intend to respond to the EIS accordingly in due course."
KI's environmental groups meanwhile are also very concerned about the proposed development and will be making submissions.
KI/VH Dolphin Watch is concerned about the impact of the port on not only marine mammals but the entire Smith Bay marine ecosystem.
"We are concerned about not only marine mammals but also marine life in general," group founder Tony Bartram said. "In particular the southern right whales that are an endangered species under the EPBC Act.
"Smith Bay is area of biological significance for not only southern right whales but also dolphins."
Kangaroo Island Eco-Action is also reviewing the EIS and will be making a submission.
Member of the SA Upper House Mark Parnell MLC said the Greens would be making a submission.
"I've met with the aquaculture operators operators already and will shortly meet with KIPT," he said. "My initial response is to note that Environmental Impact Statements are prepared by the proponent.
"Their job is to convince the decision-makers that any problems can be satisfactorily overcome. It is not independent and it is not impartial.
"It is 1500 pages, so it will be a big job to analyse and critique all this information. I will require a lot of convincing that Smith Bay is the best location because so many Islanders are telling me there are better locations that don't impact as seriously on other businesses and residents."