News Article

Open letter to the East Gippsland Community


   Wednesday 25th August, 2021

I write to you regarding a letter I have sent the CEO of East Gippsland Shire Council related to Council’s expenditure to date for participating in the Environment Effects Statement (EES) process for the Fingerboards Mineral Sands Project.

For Kalbar Operations (Kalbar), the community is at the heart of everything we do, and our passion is to work together to bring a bright and positive future - whether it’s boosting the local economy, creating jobs or working with the Traditional Owners to create opportunities for the indigenous community.

We are concerned by recent reports in the Bairnsdale Advertiser on the significant costs incurred by the Council to participate in the EES process. Kalbar does not believe these costs should be passed on to the local community through increased rates or be at the expense of vital community projects being scrapped or delayed.

Given these concerns, and with the community front of mind, Kalbar offers to establish a community fund which would operate to minimise the impact on the East Gippsland community.

Our proposal is that once the Fingerboards Project is approved for development, the fund would be established. To ensure proper governance, and that the money is spent for the community’s benefit, the fund would be managed by a committee consisting of prominent local business people, Council representatives and Kalbar representatives.

I have let Council know that I would welcome an opportunity to meet to discuss the fund and the quantum of costs incurred to date which I believe is in the order to $800,000.

Jozsef Patarica
Chief Executive Officer

Kalbar Operations Pty Ltd