GRAND PLAN: Des Euen (right), the man pushing a dramatic redevelopment of the Port of Yamba, is questioned by one of the people who attended the forum at Casino.
GRAND PLAN: Des Euen (right), the man pushing a dramatic redevelopment of the Port of Yamba, is questioned by one of the people who attended the forum at Casino. David Moase

Developer expects go-ahead for EIS in eight weeks

APPROVAL for work on an Environmental Impact Statement for a multi-billion project to turn the Port Of Yamba into an international freight centre could be granted in "about eight weeks", according to the man behind the plan.

But that is news to Planning and Environment NSW, the department that would have to give the go-ahead for the EIS.

A spokeswoman said yesterday the proposal was not in front of the department and they didn't know anything about it.

Des Euen this week outlined his plans to transform the Port of Yamba into Eastgate Port to handle containers, petrochemical products, agricultural commodities, heavy machinery, vehicle imports, forestry products and possible live cattle exports.

The port facilities would be linked to inland New South Wales by a rail line Mr Euen wants to build across the Great Dividing Range to Moree.

Mr Euen says he can access $52billion of overseas money to ensure these and other developments are completed, but that the money is dependent on getting approval for the EIS.

He says he has put $14million of his own money into the planning process.

His estimated cost for the port development is $12billion, while the railway would cost $11.5billion.

"The finance that's been earmarked for this development is dependent on the government signing off," Mr Euen said.

"Nobody is going to put $50-odd billion or $1 billion into a project if they haven't got some form of government assurance.

"I put my money behind this project because I know transport and I know freight logistics, probably one of the foremost experts in Australia on it, even though the government might not like me and some other people might not like me.

"About eight weeks I think we well have sign-off by government and it won't be signed off that we're going to do this development; it's going to be the right to take this project to environmental impact study."

A spokesperson from the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight said an unsolicited proposal for the project was sent to the NSW Government in 2014.

"An assessment was carried out and the proposal did not proceed any further."


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