Community concerned over Kembla expansion

Road and rail links to Port Kembla need urgent attention due to harbour expansion, community group says

By Ruza Zivkusic | October 13, 2010

Road and rail links to Port Kembla will need urgent attention following plans to expand the outer harbour, a community action group says.

Illawara Residents Against Toxic Environments Secretary Helen Hamilton has welcomed the Port Kembla Port Corporation’s (PKPC) proposal to start the first stage of construction of its $600 million expansion.

But she claims the road system is poor and will be under further pressure following rail traffic generated by the expansion of the outer harbour.
The PKPC is seeking approval for a concept plan to create seven new berths on the 42ha of land following a six-week long community consultation process.

PKPC spokeswoman Sandy Rae says the submission was lodged with the NSW Department of Planning in June.

"The assessment has included detailed studies in relation to road and rail movements, aquatic ecology, water and sediment quality, noise, hydrodynamics, air quality, cultural heritage as well as management plans for green and golden bell frogs," Rae says.

The Environment Assessment process was progressing well, with the PKPC having provided details of expected road and rail demand created by the expansion, Rae added.

The Federal Government has allocated $3 million towards a feasibility study for the proposed rail line, with the final report due before the NSW Federal Minister for Infrastructure in May.

"We think the concept is good but we are concerned about the road and rail transport aspects because we are in big problems now," Hamilton says.

"We are on the coastal train between the Snowy Mountains and we’ve got limited roads and rail and there will be so many trucks and trains going out," Ms Hamilton said.

NSW Minister for Planning Tony Kelly was contacted for a comment.

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