Local News

Senator Meets with Aquaculture Industry Over Desal Plans

Independent Senator Rex Patrick has met with members of the local aquaulture industry over a possible desalination plant at Billy Lights Point, as a coalition to stop the development launches.

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The senator met with representatives of the aquaculture and tourism industry in Port Lincoln yesterday, to discuss the effects a desalination plant would have on recreational fishing, mussel farming and the ongoing effects to the region’s economy.

On Wednesday, the ‘Hands Off Boston Bay’ coalition launched, which included a number of local business owners, aquaculture industry associates and mayors, all concerned about the impact a desalination plant would have on the area.

CEO of Eyre Peninsula Seafoods, Mark Andrews, says even though SA Water has said there’s up to 4 potential sites for the desalination plant, but they can’t get to the bottom of where the other sites are.

"The way we feel at the moment as an industry is that they've just chosen this one location here, and they don't have a backup, so we need to liaise more with SA Water," he said.

"All of the industry, being tourism, aquaculture, local government, recreation, the whole lot, want to understand what is Plan B. No-one knows what a Plan B is at the minute."

CEO of Eyre Peninsula Seafoods, Mark Andrews, says they’re all for a desalination plant, but the location hasn’t been thought through.

"I'm hoping that we can work collectively together with SA Water, definitely encourage them to look elsewhere other than where they're currently looking at Billy Lights Point, which is right in the middle of Boston Bay and Proper Bay where all our mussel leases, kingfish leases [are] as well."

"It's right in the middle of what is Australia's number one aquaculture zone," he said.

SA Water has been contacted for comment.