Yamba Welding and Engineering Owner Bill Collingburn in the current workshop.
Yamba Welding and Engineering Owner Bill Collingburn in the current workshop. JoJo Newby

Industrial park process referred to Gateway review

PLANS for a marine industrial park at Palmers Island will be sent for determination in the New South Wales Gateway Review System as long as the area required is reduced in size.

The application by Yamba Welding and Engineering to rezone part of Lot 2, School Rd, Palmers Island, from Primary Production to Working Waterfront/Working Waterway was back in front of Clarence Valley Council after being rejected by the Gateway in November 2014.

After last week's committee meeting voted against supporting the proposal, councillor Andrew Baker put forward an amended motion to refer the latest proposal back to the Gateway subject to the proponent amending plans to reduce the area by 40%.

"Putting aside enthusiasm for peripheral issues, this is a straightforward process to allow certain things to be tested and have opportunity to make their case," he said.

"Gateway had been initiated in 2014 and refused it, saying while it had some merit it hadn't addressed some issues.

"The applicant has gone about the business of addressing issues raised and acknowledging there would be some issues to be dealt with if Gateway says you can go another step."

Gateway approval at this stage would see the plan put on public exhibition.

"I believe the reduced footprint area would be overall beneficial to the area generally, including area outside the actual property," Cr Baker said.

Councillor Arthur Lysaught said most councils would offer free land for such a proposal, while councillor Greg Clancy said a large number of people on Palmers Island didn't want an industrial zone nearby.

"They moved there without an industrial zone," he said.

Also speaking against the motion was councillor Peter Ellem, who said: "This sets up far too many land use conflicts on Palmers Island and acoustic issues."

Councillor Richie Williamson supported Cr Baker's motion, but only as a "matter of process".

"I don't want anyone to get the impression I support the application," he said.

"The motion, if successful today, will limit our support with regard to the reduction of 40% in proposed area and with regard to addressing issues surrounding flooding, roads, docks and Aboriginal heritage.

"I want to make it clear my support ends at the process."

Cr Baker's motion was carried 6-2, with councillors Greg Clancy and Peter Ellem voting against it. Cr Debrah Novak left the room for the debate after declaring a non-substantial pecuniary interest.

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