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AN ENVIRONMENTAL Impact Statement into the proposed Smith Bay Kangaroo Island Seaport has been released by the South Australian government.

The document, prepared by proponents Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers, argues why the development is environmentally safe and economically beneficial. It is now out for public submissions until May 28.

Already the document has attracted criticism, however, with a local aquaculture business slamming “unplanned environmental, social and economic impact”.

Proponents Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers say the concept will bring massive benefits.

According to KIPT, “the KI Seaport would have a substantial economic impact on Kangaroo Island”.

“The year-round economic activity associated with plantation forestry would broaden the island’s economic base, which is currently dominated by seasonal agriculture and tourism,” KIPT wrote.

“At the current rate of economic growth in South Australia, it would take nearly 30 years of growth to match the impact of the proposed KI Seaport on the Kangaroo Island economy.”

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But director of Yumbah Aquaculture Anthony Hall criticised the concept.

“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,” Mr Hall said.

“In KPT’s executive summary the company continues to claim that its proposed Seaport development won’t impact on Yumbah’s business. How KPT can possibly believe an industrial Seaport for bulk carriers with extensive log and woodchip facilities on-shore will not affect Yumbah is completely unfathomable.”

Mr Hall said they supported better transport and freight options for Kangaroo Island. “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,” he said.

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