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Last Word on the Smith Bay Jetty – Kangaroo Island

If you have to lie to make your case, you don’t have a case.

Never has this been more starkly clear than in the determined opposition to KIPT’s proposed new jetty at Smith Bay. This is a project that will bring a massive ongoing income stream to Kangaroo Island, and has the potential to revitalise the island more than any other project since the advent of reliable ferry services. Cue the wailing…

“The Environmental Impact Statement they have submitted is not what they are planning to build!”

OK. Right. In a time-consuming and expensive process, KIPT is seeking permission to build something they do not intend to build, and are not seeking permission to build what they do intend to build. This is so manifestly silly it is just, well, silly.

“Building a jetty on the pristine North coast will pollute the bay and damage whales and dolphins!”

There are four jetties along the pristine North coast already, plus a couple of boat ramps. One of those jetties, at Penneshaw, loads and unloads as many as six boats per day. These carry dangerous cargoes including pesticides, creosote treated logs and other building materials, fuels, and livestock. They travel several times per day directly across the migration path of whales and other marine wildlife.

But one more jetty loading twelve boats a year with a sustainable, organic, native product is going to ruin our tourism industry and ruin the environment.

Right. This is even more manifestly ludicrous than the claim KIPT wants permission to build something they don’t want to build.

“But Smith Bay is pristine!”

You have to wonder at the mental and photographic contortions needed to attempt to portray Smith Bay as anything resembling “pristine.”

With a monstrous barbed-wire fenced industrial facility squatting across almost the entire foreshore, looking like a set from Resident Evil, pumping thousands of litres of waste into the bay every hour, Smith Bay is about as pristine as my arse after a hot curry and dozen beers. Not something I would recommend swimming in.

Smith Bay Foreshore Showing Yumbah's Facility and waste Outflows
Smith Bay Foreshore Showing Yumbah’s Facility and Waste Outflows

 

Some of the other objections verge on comic absurdity. Or rather, they jump the verge in a manic delirium and charge headlong down the cliff into La La Land. “There’ll be trucks! There’ll be dust! There might be some noise! Tourists won’t like it! I don’t like it! Make it stop!”

What’s next? Demands that we stop growing sheep on the island? “There are trucks! There is dust! There are nasty smells! You know they only grow those things to kill them! It’s inhumane. The trucks run on petrol. It’s ruining the environment! The world’s going to burn! We’re all going to die!”

OK. Put down the bong. Step away slowly. Move outside. Take a few deep breaths… Better now?

Seriously, if there are any real concerns, not drug-fueled paranoia or dog-in-the-manger silliness, but real concerns about environment, or safety, or tourism, and you have talked with KIPT about them, not just had a whinge on Facebook, or complained to the other members of your echo-chamber, but actually talked to KIPT, and you still think your issues have not been properly addressed, let me know. I will be right behind you in seeking answers.