Home NewsAustralia Government chooses cheapest Port Lincoln desal option, ignoring committee’s preferred location

Government chooses cheapest Port Lincoln desal option, ignoring committee’s preferred location

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Government chooses cheapest Port Lincoln desal option, ignoring committee’s preferred location

The South Australian authorities has defied the advice of a 22-member committee and controversially chosen a Billy Lights Level website for a $313 million desalination plant at Port Lincoln.

The location choice committee, arrange by the earlier Liberal authorities, really helpful a Sleaford Bay website 25 kilometres south of Port Lincoln, however that was dominated out due to price and logistics.

Opponents to the Billy Lights Level website say the choice places the way forward for Australia’s largest mussel grower in danger and have vowed to proceed their combat.

Local weather, Setting and Water Minister Susan Shut stated the federal government had accepted the recommendation of the SA Water Board that Billy Lights Level was the popular location for the 5.3-gigalitre plant.

SA Environment Minister Susan Close smiles
Susan Shut says water for the surroundings should stay a precedence underneath the plan.(ABC Information)

She stated the Sleaford West website would price $150 million greater than the Billy Lights Level proposition.

“Billy Lights is the one which stacks up. It stacks up as a result of it’s the least expensive, and we now have to remember all of us pay for these costly desalination crops and infrastructure,” Ms Shut stated.

Eyre Peninsula’s 35,000 prospects presently use the Uley Basin water provide and 1.7 gigalitres yearly from the Murray River, however its potable water is anticipated to be depleted by 2025.

“I perceive that folks in Port Lincoln who’re against Billy Lights Level might be very cross with me, might be upset with this determination to go forward with this website, however I can not enable this unbelievable a part of South Australia to danger operating out of water,” Ms Shut stated.

“I hope they’re going to additionally perceive that essentially the most urgent want is to be sure that they’ve water safety. We will not proceed to entertain options when there is not any further cash obtainable.”

Several boats on the blue sea water.
A protest on water at Port Lincoln exterior of SA Water’s proposed desalination plant website in 2021.(Equipped: Mark Thomas)

SA Water first recognized three websites within the Sleaford Bay space for a desalination plant for Eyre Peninsula in 2009.

When a Billy Lights Level website was introduced it sparked neighborhood protest in November 2021 with a rally of about 350 folks and a flotilla of fishing vessels underneath the banner Palms Off Boston Bay.

It resulted within the formation of the native website choice committee, with opponents of the Billy Lights website involved in regards to the environmental penalties of discharging hypersaline water into Boston Bay.

Billy Lights Point location for desalination plant
The SA authorities has chosen this space at Billy Lights Level for the 5.3-gigalitre desalination plant.(ABC Eyre Peninsula: Jodie Hamilton)

Legitimate issues

Website choice committee chair Peter Treloar stated the issues of the aquaculture business have been nonetheless legitimate.

“We took these issues very significantly to the purpose that we engaged a marine science assessment panel, and a SARDI report, and people issues stay,” Mr Treloar stated.

Smiling man in a a suit looking at camera from hilltop with blurred bay in background
Peter Treloar, chair of the desalination plant website choice committee, now says it was a waste of time.(Equipped: Rob Lang)

Eyre Peninsula Seafoods Mark Andrews stated his mussel enterprise could be straight impacted and he would proceed to combat the choice.

“The place on the earth do you discover a desalination plant in the course of an aquaculture zone? You simply do not,” he stated.

“The muscle business depends 100 per cent on the pure muscle fall that happens right here on Correct Bay, yearly at Boston Bay, that is so distinctive in comparison with anyplace else in Australia.

“To place a desalination plant with an consumption inside the bays that may suck in — and no one is aware of how a lot — mussel spat, which is able to take it away from myself catching it, simply poses a lot danger to my enterprise that can not be managed.”

Grey haired man standing in front of mussel sign inside office
Mark Andrews says the situation is exclusive in comparison with anyplace else in Australia for mussel farming.(Equipped: Eyre Peninsula Seafoods)

He stated the SARDI report said there was poor flushing traits inside the bay and poor water circulation.

Mr Andrews stated it put his enterprise in danger, and the roles of 75 folks as the most important mussel grower and processor in Australia.

“It is a distraction that we do not want, however we’ll have to return to the place we have been earlier than and throw all our assets at it to cease it ever taking place,” he stated.

The Local weather, Setting and Water Minister stated the federal government had “accomplished the scientific analysis to take a look at the affect on the native surroundings, and there simply is not one”.

“The extent of affect from the salinity that may come from the desalination plant is inside the regular variability and surroundings anyway,” Ms Shut stated.

“Given the worth, and that diploma of consolation, we will not make every other selection.”

a group of people stand at the front of a boat talking
Senator Rex Patrick met with involved business stakeholders about SA Water’s deliberate desalination website.(Equipped: Mark Thomas)

Mr Andrews stated the 12 months work of the location choice committee was now a waste of time.

“The location choice committee was fashioned to select an alternate website, they usually did,” he stated.

“They selected Sleaford West they usually spent a variety of time coming to that conclusion.

“So there’s been some huge cash spent on it and seems it is all been a waste of time.”

Member for Flinders, Sam Telfer, questioned why the federal government had ignored the committee’s recommendation.

“Make no mistake this can be a main venture for the Eyre Peninsula and it will be the most important capital venture ever within the historical past of the Eyre Peninsula, and because of this we have to get it proper,” Mr Telfer stated.

“We have to get the situation proper, the preparations proper, and sadly [the minister Ms] Shut has simply taken the straightforward manner out.”

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