Timber company Kangaroo Island Plantations said that it is feasible to build a port on the island for its timber shipments. Source: ABC News
The company commissioned two reports into the feasibility of the potential port at Smith Bay on the northern coast of Kangaroo Island.
It says the likely construction and operating costs for the site are affordable.
The Smith Bay site is a former abalone farm and is close to the company’s plantations. It is also outside marine protection zones.
The company said that it wants to either develop the facility itself, with the help of other timber owners on Kangaroo Island, or sell its land and timber to another party willing to finish the development.
Kangaroo Island Plantations estimates 105 full-time jobs could be created once the site is operational.
The value of the island’s timber plantations is estimated at $400 million.
Kangaroo Island’s Mayor said the ability to export timber directly from the island would greatly benefit the community.
Jayne Bates said there are currently two timber ports proposed for Kangaroo Island but she would prefer to see just one multi-commodity port.
She said that 18,000 hectares of the island is forest but without the capability to export timber, it is not being harvested.
Councillor Bates said the community is pleased ports are being considered.
“It’s certainly trying to get some momentum with the forestry and [to] get that timber to market is incredibly important and getting some return to the economy from all that land that’s being locked up by forestry, so really, really important,” she said.
“They’re [the community] very supportive of some resolution to the stagnant position we find ourselves in where there has been no decision about trying to look for solutions to harvest the timber, or at least get to a position where someone can make a decision.”