Kangaroo Island Plantation Timbers Ltd (ASX:KPT) is another step closer to potential approval of the proposed KI Seaport export facility, with the South Australian Government to exhibit key information in January and February.
Shortly before Christmas, KPT reached an agreement with the Department for Infrastructure and Transport on a process for detailed planning and management of road use and traffic management.
Information relating to traffic, road networks, biosecurity and engineering design for the KI Seaport was lodged with the SA Minister for Planning Vickie Chapman and KPT has now been advised that information will be made publicly available in January and February.
It is then expected that a final decision regarding development approval of the seaport will be made.
KPT welcomed the opportunity for public consultation. “We look forward to discussing the benefits of the project members of the community and providing the community of South Australia greater assurance of the benefits this project will bring to Kangaroo Island,” it said.
Clearing high-risk trees
In the meantime, the company has been working to clear plantation trees alongside power lines on the island, with crews preparing to move into the harvest proper in the new year, starting with pine plantations damaged in the devastating 2020 bushfires.
KPT has been working with SA Power Networks to clear blue gums and pine trees that run along nearly 50 kilometres of power lines through the plantations.
The trees are well past their harvest date as KPT awaits approval for the export facility at the proposed Smith Bay seaport.
They had been planted by previous owners with 20 metres clearance of power lines, but most are now taller than 20 metres and present significant risks, not the least fire damage making them more likely to fall, which could damage power infrastructure.
HarvestCo won the tender to harvest the first 200,000 tonnes of pine and mobilised equipment in early December to also complete the power line clearance.
The first few rows of trees adjacent to the power lines are being cut and laid down in the footprint of the plantation for collection later.
Kangaroo Island fell victim to the widespread bushfires over last spring and summer, with 52 per cent of the island being burned and two people passing away.
KPT informed the market in January that an estimated 90 per cent of its trees were no longer productive for all practical and economic purposes.
The company made several recommendations to the Royal Commission into the bushfires for better landscape management and firefighting efficacy to the SA Government.
- Daniel Paproth