You may have seen promotional material created by Australian Infrastructure Developments Pty Ltd or Y.P.R. Australia Pty Ltd for the unsolicited proposal often called the Port Yamba Development (Eastgate) or the Yamba Port Rail Project.
The material probably looks rather intriguing to many of you.
However, there are some matters that this promotional material either does not address or merely skates over.
Once the potential impact of the removal or significant alteration of breakwater walls sinks in with the communities of Iluka and Yamba I suspect that the friction between community and Yamba Port Rail proponents will increase dramatically.
The hypothetical clock is now ticking.
* a least two advertised tender invitations if investors are not planning to just throw their money away;
* the creation of a dredge spoil management plan;and
At this moment you may be thinking that if all the individual planning procedures were undertaken at the same time the port expansion might move forward faster. However, any large project is only as fast as its slowest strand of required assessment/modelling/
testing and this particular project is being undertaken by a company which admits it has never handled any sort of development project before.
Some of these studies would be obliged to include the sourcing, transport and stabilzation of enough fill to raise 36 sq.km of terminals and berths above projected flood levels and modelling of existing & changed flooding conditions - because all the proposed terminal & berth areas will be submerged in a 1 in 100 flood to est. depths of 0.05 to 2.8m unless the land is raised.
Displaced water (that has likely in some flood events to come at some speed down both the Clarence River and out of the Esk River) which will almost inevitably inundate the proposed remaining undeveloped half of Palmers Island, along with low lying sections of Woombah, Iluka, Yamba and Wooloweyah, as well as exacerbate upriver flooding as far as Maclean. Quite rightly both tiers of government would quail at the thought of this occurring in conjunction with a king tide entering the mouth of the Clarence River and the clock might be permanently stopped on the mega port scheme then and there.
It is hard to imagine that Australian Infrastructure Developments will ever be able to establish the social contract with the Clarence Valley it needs to proceed, when its grand plan will diminish or destroy so many existing aesthetic, environmental, cultural, social and economic values within the estuary.
Twelve years in which your company reputations and that of your principal shareholders will be held up for global scrutiny.
Given the power of almost instant communication that the Internet will give to over 50,000 people and the ability of anyone of those with a personal computer to identify and research your company or superannuation fund, are you sure that the hope of future financial returns is worth the public relations risk?
If you think I exaggerate, ask Metgasco Limited what community resistance across the Northern Rivers did to its plans to develop gas fields.
This is entirely friendly advice, because I like many others would prefer quietly enjoying the Clarence River estuary and the easy, relaxed lifestyle its healthy environment allows me, rather than spending the next twelve years as part of a peaceful but relentlessly effective grassroots protest movement making your corporate lives a misery.