Third try for marine precinct
New plan ‘will quiet neighbours’ noise, traffic worries’
A MARINE industrial precinct proposed for Palmers Island will be so well landscaped its neighbours won’t see or hear it, the proponent says.
Yamba Welding & Engineering managing director Bill Collingburn described the amended proposal to expand his business as “clean and green”.
He said he had been forced to amend his plans considerably, including reducing the block size by 40%, to put the plan back on the table.
The proposal first came to the council in 2014 and was refused by the NSW Government’s planning Gateway process in 2014.
But the company returned with a revised plan late last year, including the reduction in site size, which the council approved.
In December Gateway asked the council for noise and traffic impact studies, which the council supplied in April. It now wants another submission from the council to support its updated report.
Mr Collingburn said today’s council meeting should approve the planning proposal.
“It’s just an approval for the Gateway process,” he said. “It’s not a development application or anything.
“If it gets knocked back again I will have to decide if I keep fighting or move elsewhere.”
Mr Collingburn said he needed to expand to cater for the number of boatbuilding projects his business has attracted.
“We have four or five in the pipeline and if we can’t expand we will probably have to let them go,” he said.
Mr Collingburn said if he received the green light today a DA could come to council within a year.
“I expect there will be a bit of going backwards and forwards with that,” he said.
“Overall I would like to be building boats out there in two years.”
He said a lot of money had had been spent on consultants so as not to trouble neighbours.
“We’re determined to be a good neighbour,” he said.
“The last thing we want is to have the council knocking on our door every time there’s a complaint.
“All our buildings are concrete, which absorbs noise, and the acoustic barriers will be so well designed our neighbours won’t be able to see or hear us.”
He said the shipbuilding industry was a guaranteed employer of skilled labour into the future.
“The 12m boats we’re building for Border Force require 2000 labour hours and it’s skilled labour you need skilled people to do.”