Marine project will boost Lower Clarence jobs

ANOTHER Lower Clarence boat builder is seeking to create a marine precinct in the Lower Clarence estimated to bring $21 million to the Valley when fully operational.

Tomorrow Clarence Valley Council is likely to recommend a planning proposal from Yamba Welding and Engineering (YWE) to establish a marine precinct on the corner of McConnells Lane and School Rd, Palmers Island. At Tuesday's environment, planning and works committee meeting the planner who prepared the company proposal, Geraldine Haigh, addressed councillors and fielded questions.

She told the council the site was ideal for YWE to expand its operations as it would allow the company to build more and much larger vessels than it can from its current site in Yamba.

Its main advantage was the deep water access to the site as well as the size of the site 21.22ha, which would allow industry related businesses to establish at the site.

Ms Haigh said YWE had bought the land, which had been used for sugar cane, in 2006, but there had not been a crop on the land for four years.

The report to council estimated the development would add more than $10 million directly to the gross regional product for the Clarence Valley and $21 million indirectly.

It also said the site would employ 100 people and create another 200 jobs in related industries.

The report acknowledged the need for caution in approving marine industry development.

Council staff the YWE proposal presented a number of issues which would need to be dealt with at the Gateway level.

These include problems with acid sulphate soils, compliance with relevant strategies, air pollution, transport and access, noise and vibration and water and fish habitat issues.

Key points

1. A new modern environmentally responsible facility including a larger workshop (100m x 50m) to accommodate larger vessels.

2. Construction and fitting out of new vessels, based on initial forecast, sized as follows:

 6m - 9m - 20 vessels a year

 9m - 25m - four vessels a year

 25m - 35m - one a year

3. Provision of good access to deep water for large vessels including provision for large boat travel lift (50 tonne capacity).

4. Facilitate the refit and refurbishment of super yachts and commercial vessels up to 300 tonne, length 35- 40m, which would require a 300 tonne travel lift.



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