03 December 2021
As part of the recent Council Meeting, held on 1 December, it was resolved that NIRC would pursue plans for an alternative barge landing at Ball Bay. The purpose of this landing would be to supply important project equipment, critically needed for NIRC projects scheduled in early 2022. These include the Youngs Road Quarry, which is still under planning assessment, and the receival of waste equipment and infrastructure necessary for the function of the Waste Management Centre. The landing would also provide an opportunity for Council to export bailed, packaged and containerised waste, for which we currently do not have a transport option.
A landing is necessary for large equipment as the current forms of shipping do not accommodate delivery of these items. NIRC has commenced environmental assessment, including baseline marine surveys, in preparation for a permit application for installation of the alternate landing. In parallel, an Expression of Interest (EOI) will also shortly commence to find the best available solution for Ball Bay. This will focus on a short construction timeframe and mitigation of marine environment impacts.
While the landing is intended to be only temporary in nature, NIRC understandsthe benefit in seeking to install a structure that could potentially provide a solution over a slightly longer period. This would have benefits for NIRC’s project requirements and seek to limit acute impacts to the environment. It could also provide an alternative option for importing cargo to the island. For this reason, NIRC will request options that would span a 3-5 year lifespan where feasible.
NIRC is aware of the repeated installation and removal of temporary groynes at Ball Bay over many years. This has resulted in impacts to the environment, while not resolving Norfolk Island’s long-term shipping issue. However, the justification for pursuing a landing structure at Ball Bay is not based on long-term shipping needs, rather immediate project needs. For this reason, NIRC is in close communication with the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC) regarding their impending plans for the Cascade Landing Structure. While the environmental assessment of this structure by the Federal environment regulator is still to be completed, NIRC would not follow through on the installation of a structure at Ball Bay, should the Cascade landing be sufficiently advanced to meet Council’s project needs. Equally, if a temporary groyne is installed at Ball Bay, then this would be removed as soon as Cascade becomes operational.
If you have any questions about the above proposal, please contact Customer Care who will put you in touch with the myself or a relevant staff member. We will keep the community updated on the progress of this proposal over the coming weeks and months.
MANAGER PLANNING AND ENVIRONMENT
3 December 2021