Mojo before taking its first plunge.
Mojo before taking its first plunge. Geoff Potter

Controversial marine industry precinct back before council

A LOWER Clarence boat builder is making another attempt to establish a controversial marine industrial park on Palmers Island.

Yamba Welding & Engineering Pty Ltd has put forward a planning proposal at today's Clarence Valley Council environment, planning and community committee seeking rezoning of land in School Rd from primary production to either IN4 working waterfront or W3 Working Waterway.

In July 2014 the council voted to send a similar proposal from the company to the State Government for Gateway determination.

The Gateway process knocked back the plan, although it conceded it did have some merit.

The stumbling block was a proposed 100m setback would not sufficiently alleviate noise problems for neighbours of the development.

It also noted there were doubts about some of the measures the proponent said would mitigate the problems.

"Should the council with to pursue the rezoning of the land, a thorough investigation of the potential acoustic and land use conflict impacts of the proposed development on nearby residential properties will be required," the determination read.

The current proposal includes a 100m Ru1 Primary Production zoning around the nearest existing residence in place of the IN4 Working Waterfront zoning.

The site of a proposed marine industrial plan on School Rd, Palmers Island.
The site of a proposed marine industrial plan on School Rd, Palmers Island.

The proposal also includes a flood impact assessment, an environmental noise assessment report and a transport and traffic report.

The original proposal drew considerable fire from the project's neighbours, which is reflected in the council staff's recommendation not to approve the development.

The staff have identified four key issues:

  • Location of the marine industry uses on the Clarence River.
  • Noise and vibration impacts on rural and residential property.
  • Transport and access issues the development would generate including impacts on roads.
  • Economic benefit.

The report contains three options for the council to proceed.

It's preferred option is not to support the proposal, however, there are two further options.

One is to invite the proponent to submit a revised plan for a reduced site area to be rezone and demonstrate viable noise mitigation measures.

Or it recommends the proposal proceed to Gateway determination with additional clarification required on a proposal for a dry dock, site contamination and Aboriginal cultural heritage prior to it going on exhibition.

Councillors will visit the site at 12.45pm this afternoon before the meeting.

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