Letter: Bluff port neglect

Last updated 13:18 11/09/2013

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OPINION: Brent Procter's letter on Friday refers to the continuing disastrous neglect of crucial port assets in Bluff.

The Historic Town wharf, which dates back to 1863, is still being used for the discharge of petroleum products, despite having a 4-tonne load limit and being off limits for the fire truck.

Environment Southland is the Port Authority, not that you would know it from their website or other documents. Perhaps it has escaped their attention. There is more to being a Port Authority than just waiting by the letterbox for the dividend cheque to arrive each year.

The Port of Bluff is a critical piece of infrastructure, on which all Southlanders depend. Without this port, the cost of getting our goods to market would be much higher, and our prosperity much less.

Yet Environment Southland, the majority shareholder of SouthPort, seem to ignore the considerable pollution issues at the port, which is part of the reason why the new proposal to farm Bluff Oysters for export, is reliant on finishing off their oysters in Otago harbour, where the water is clean.

They leave the management of our largest asset to professional managers and directors, whose only consideration is profit, without consideration of Environmental or Social dividends.

Southland boaties are very familiar with the neglect of marine facilities in the port. There are
overlapping areas of responsibility for this with both the regional and city council a role, but while the relationship between the two resembles a schoolyard at lunchtime, and with Environment Southland chair ''Ruby'' publicly denigrating Bluff, nothing will change.

Renewal is needed on this council.

STEVE MITCHELL
Bluff

Steve Mitchell is a candidate for Environment Southland - Editor

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- The Southland Times

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