Stack's demise may kick off 'new boom'

The Port Kembla Copper stack is standing in the way of job creation for the industrial suburb, according to PKC general manager Ian Wilson.

Mr Wilson said new jobs would result from "repurposing" the site in the wake of Thursday's stack demolition.

The site renewal would significantly improve Port Kembla's unemployment rate, he said.

"As long as the stack stands, it sterilises the entire site from being redeveloped, as the stack's long-term stability could only be secured with a $10 million to $20 million cash injection," Mr Wilson said.

He acknowledged that there had already been an attempt to find a new use for the site - from the Stack 360 group.

"PKC has worked directly with those groups who sought to turn the stack into a tourist destination, and gave them both time and opportunity to put together a viable and fully backed business plan," he said.

"Unfortunately, those plans came to nought, with regulatory approval and funding partners lacking and deadlines passed, meaning we need to forge ahead on a new plan, which is rebuilding the site from scratch."

After the stack was demolished, Mr Wilson said PKC would "seek to responsibly clean up this site" to prepare it for "appropriate use".

While no future uses for the site had been specified, Mr Wilson said it could kick off a new boom in Port Kembla.

"Port Kembla is bursting out of its skin ready for something new.

"Every month I see new shops opening, renovations under way on local landmark destinations, it's a place that's ready to bloom.

"The jobs growth and industry contributed by the site's future users will help create a Port Kembla renaissance - and that's something to work towards."

A spokeswoman said there were several light industrial, low-density parties interested in acquiring parts of the PKC site, including some from the Illawarra looking for space to expand.

The acquisition of the land could involve part of the site or its entirety, with the possibility some of it would then be leased to third parties, the spokeswoman said.

The Port Kembla stack and surrounds. Picture: ROBERT PEET

The Port Kembla stack and surrounds. Picture: ROBERT PEET


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