During Question Time, Mark asked the Treasurer about funding requests for road upgrades for the controversial new industrial sea port development on Kangaroo Island's Smith Bay for Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers.
The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: The development of a new industrial sea port on Kangaroo Island has been controversial and has pitched a number of commercial interests against each other and caused a great deal of anxiety in the local community. According to the Save Smith Bay Facebook page, Kangaroo Island Plantation Timber Limited told shareholders at their AGM last week that, 'No government financial assistance has been sought' for its Smith Bay sea port.
But, according to observers, the company also informed shareholders at the meeting that, 'Key road upgrades have been identified and discussions are underway with all levels of government'. My questions of the Treasurer are:
1. Is he aware of any requests for funding having been received by the state government, or requests for road upgrades made, to enable current narrow dirt roads to carry B-double trucks to the port?
2. If the minister is not personally aware, is he able to refer the question to any minister who may have been in such discussions with Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers?
The Hon. R.I. LUCAS (Treasurer): I have no recollection of any requests for funding through my office, but I am happy to check. I suspect that discussions that relate to roads, infrastructure and ports are more properly directed towards my colleague the Hon. Stephan Knoll, and I will seek advice from him as to whether or not he can provide any information that might be of assistance to the member.
Response received on February 12, 2019
Hon Rob Lucas MLC: The Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government has provided the following advice:
Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers are currently preparing an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will seek to understand transport requirements for the project. It is expected the EIS will go on public consultation in early 2019, for Council and Community input.
While the Department understands that proposed freight routes would require upgrading to accommodate the freight task, the roads in question are local roads under the care and control of Kangaroo Island Council.
While funding options have been raised by Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers, there has been no formal request for State Government funding. DPTI has advised Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers that there is no intention for the State Government to commit to a contribution towards the upgrades of local roads should the development be approved.