The fight against the Pindimar Abalone farm continues with DPIE weighing in

Development plans for the Abalone Farm.


FOR almost two decades residents in Pindimar have been fighting against a proposed Abalone farm in Pindimar, and now more than ever they are speaking up as the development is currently in its recommendation phase.

Austasia Leefield Pty Ltd proposes the construction of a land based abalone aquaculture farm with the capacity to produce up to 60 tonnes for annum of Blacklip Abalone at 180 Clarke Street in Pindimar.

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This will include pipelines to source saltwater from the estuary of Port Stephens adjacent to the Port Stephens – Great Lakes Protected waters and the Tallowfield Wildlife Refuge.

Verity Grinnell and Lesley Lane are members of the Pindimar Bundabah Community Association Aquaculture subcommittee who are fighting against the development, worried about what they believe could be disastrous consequences for not only Pindimar, but the entire region.

“Don’t mine our Port Stephens Estuaries for clean water to grow Abalone and feed lots whilst returning approximately two tonnes of nitrogen per year (cumulatively) back to the Port,” they said.

Many of the key issues addressed included nutrients such as nitrogen and ammonia long-term impacts on aquatic ecosystems, especially seagrass, long lasting effects for the flora and fauna including marine life, koalas, Glossy Black Cockatoos, the threatened Little Bentwing bat and East Coast Freetail bat amongst others.

Other concerns were raised about the 24 hour noise and increase of traffic volume.

In public submissions, the project received an overwhelmingly large wave of objections with 212 of the 216 submissions opposing the development.

The Department of Planning, Industry and Environment recently assessed the situation.

“The Department considers there is an unacceptable risk to the marine ecology and the Applicant has not undertaken an adequate assessment of the likely environmental impacts on the Port Stephens marine environment.

“The proposal is also inconsistent with the principles of ecologically sustainable development (ESD) and Council’s strategic water quality objectives for the MidCoast local government area and the Port Stephens estuary to achieve a neutral or beneficial effect (NorBE) on water quality.

“On this basis, the proposal is not in the public interest and it is recommended that it be refused,” they said.

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