24 Jul 2013

New concerns over proposed ferry terminal

2:48 pm on 24 July 2013

The Ministry of Transport says it has reviewed previous geotechnical studies of the Marlborough area in its case to build a ferry terminal at Clifford Bay.

Marlborough district mayor Alistair Sowman has questioned the viability of the controversial terminal, given the history of violent earthquakes in the region during the past century.

The terminal would sit in the middle of a network of alpine and sub-marine faults, one of which triggered a magnitude 7.5 quake in 1848, and another in 1855 measuring 8.2.

A 6.5-magnitude quake on Sunday in Cook Strait was centred beneath Seddon, just 11km away from Clifford Bay.

Mr Sowman said on Wednesday there is fresh concern in the community about the financial and physical risks of having a terminal there.

However a spokesperson from the ministry, which is investigating the commercial viability of the project, said a preliminary view of how the terminal and associated infrastructure could be constructed has been prepared. This included a review of previous geotechnical work.