SUBMISSION re: development proposal Incitec Ammonium Nitrate Manufacturing Facility Project,SSD-9986Heron Road, Kooragang Island
Newcastle Port does not have a Strategic Plan for its future development
We note that decisions made today have the potential to lock the Port into continuation of its presently bad situation for decades to come.
Newcastle Port has already reached a point where management of past Port practices and impact from existing industries is at crisis level in terms of adverse social and environmental impacts. We have a duty of care not to increase these existing threats. The State government would be aware of toxic legacies in the soil and site location, ongoing health impact concerns due to emissions from coal loaders, the Orica plant, transportation road and rail gridlocks, increase in ship movements and necessary dredging and reclamation works threatening the viability and integrity of the Ramsar wetlands and Hunter River.
We do not accept that Newcastle Port, its present infrastructure and industrial focus is in the best interest of Newcastle and the Hunter Region. The potential for Port facilities to be left as a series of stranded assets in the foreseeable future is real and will be of significant cost to the community and our regional economy.
The community is moving away from its support of the coal industry, and associated industries. There are alternative energy sources, and export opportunities available that should be encouraged and developed that will sustain the region into the future.
Incitec has suspended its feasibility study on the development of the project (Sept 2012 ASX Announcement) deferring the decision on whether to proceed with the development for at least two years. In the meantime, however, it is our understanding that they wish to have the development proposal approved so that if and when the proponents (or possible new owners) are ready to proceed with the proposal they can avoid the need to address the cumulative impacts on the local community and the environment that are continually compounding in the absence of a Port Master Plan.
Before the development proposal is approved, the State government has the responsibility of deciding whether the development is in the best interest of the community. We list the following major issues that we consider have not been adequately addressed by the proponents.
Read the Newcastle Greens full submission here.