Des Euen: ‘We may or may not be doing something.’
A.I.D. Australia’s Des Euen has told the Independent that difficulties involved in gaining the NSW Government’s permission to conduct an EIS (Environmental Impact Statement) process were preventing the proposal’s progress.
He said that the NSW Government’s selling of NSW ports is hindering the planning process.
“The biggest problem with Yamba and any other port in NSW is the privatisation agreements on Port Botany and Port Kembla, which state … that no port, existing or future, will be able to contest trade under the agreement with the NSW Government and NSW Ports,” Mr Euen said.
“If the NSW Government agreement, under the privatisation deals, means we can’t do it [Yamba port], we’ll have to find an alternative.
“If they’re water tight agreements and the ACCC can’t overrule them, well that’s going to become a problem for any other port in NSW, not just Yamba.
“I’m not saying it’s not going to happen, I’m just saying that if the EIS says we can’t do it, well we won’t do it.”
However, Mr Euen said that if the Yamba port proposal falls over, he was confident that the inland “rail network will still go through”.
He also remained confident that Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison’s announcement – that the NSW Government’s electricity infrastructure sale to Chinese interests would not go ahead because it was against the national interest – would not affect his financial backers.
Mr Euen said he has significant private sector backing, some of which is from Chinese interests based in Hong Kong.
“It doesn’t affect us whatsoever,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr Euen is amid the preparation of a more detailed video presentation (to follow up on previous presentations), which he plans to give to the Namoi Councils Joint Organisation – Tamworth Regional and Walcha councils, and the Narrabri, Gunnedah, Gwydir, Liverpool Plains, Liverpool Plains and Uralla shire councils.