KIPT, Yumbah easement matter heads to Supreme Court

BAY EASEMENT: The light blue section represents the easement that KIPT is seeking to take over from Yumbah. This is a rendering completed by Yumbah to show what the proposal would look like in comparison to Yumabahs farm.
BAY EASEMENT: The light blue section represents the easement that KIPT is seeking to take over from Yumbah. This is a rendering completed by Yumbah to show what the proposal would look like in comparison to Yumabahs farm.

Yumbah Aquaculture has revealed Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers has been taking legal action against Yumbah over the past year.

The action is over an easement in favour of Yumbah located on KIPT land directly adjacent to the abalone farm that would be the site of the proposed timber exporting port at Smith Bay.

Yumbah needs the easement for drainage of its abalone farm.

Yumbah Aquaculture director Anthony Hall said KIPT's Environmental Impact Statement states the Smith Bay site had several recognised easements and that "KI seaport's onshore wharf infrastructure has been designed to ensure the rights conferred by these easements are not compromised."

But he questioned why KIPT had not listed the easement rights in the EIS with the certificate of title?

"Where in the EIS does KPT demonstrate how the rights will be upheld?" he said.

"KIPT's ASX announcement claimed that 'that none of the easements affecting the company's land prevents it from proceeding with the development' and 'it does not believe any of the matters are material'.

"If that's true, why has KIPT been waging expensive legal action for the past year in the South Australian Supreme Court in an attempt to strip these rights from Yumbah?

"How is the SA Government supposed to make an informed decision about Smith Bay when KIPT's EIS doesn't include all the facts?"

KIPT community engagement director Shauna Black said the easements to which Yumbah referred were on KIPT land.

"KIPT believes the easements are not lawful, and is seeking to have the matter resolved," Ms Black said.

"Recent mediation between the parties was not successful, and the matter will be brought before the courts. Yumbah has asked that the matter be referred to the Supreme Court.

She said KIPT was also seeking to give effect to easements on Yumbah's land for the provision of electricity to the KIPT site, which Yumbah oppose.

"The concept design outlined in the EIS recognises the easement on KIPT's land, and does not compromise any of the rights which Yumbah claim attach to that easement," she said.

"The proposed development is not affected by the easements, and if the Supreme Court upholds Yumbah's position, this will have no impact on the proposed development."

KI Council submission

The Kangaroo Island Council at its May meeting on Tuesday, May 14 was due to decide what its submission to the KIPT Smith Bay Environmental Impact Statement will be.

The Islander last week in its coverage of the Smith Bay EIS stated Mayor Pengilly said the steep hill at Kohinoor meant that Stokes Bay Road was the only viable option to take the timber down to the coast.

But what we meant to say that the mayor said the council was informed by KIPT that the Kohinoor was too steep.

KIPT meanwhile said that no specific road route had been selected and it would work with the council to determine the best route.

Dueling information

The Save Smith Bay group will have information tables set up in Kingscote the next two weeks.

It is offering help in understanding how to make a submission on KIPT's Environmental Impact Statement.

Group member Kate Welz said the group might be able to answer some questions and simplify the process.

"We are deeply concerned about our Island's future and are hopeful our community can join together to find a solution for the Plantation timber that benefits more than just a few and minimises our impact on our unique environment," she said.

Save Smith Bay will be outside Fine Art KI on Dauncy Street on Tuesday, May 14, Thursday, May 16 and the Thursday, May 23.

The deadline to make a submission to DPTI is May 28.

KIPT community engagement director Shauna Black meanwhile said she was always available to speak to members of the public.

The KIPT office in Dauncey Street was open Tuesday May 14, Thursday, May 16, the afternoon of May 21 and all day on Thursday, May 23, she said.

Opening times are posted on the door and another time can be arranged by phoning her on 0409 096 846.

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