Desal location protested as SA Water confirm site

Billy Lights Point has been named by SA Water as the new location for its proposed desalination plant just days after Senator Rex Patrick and other industry stakeholders gathered at the site to stage a protest.

Senator Patrick, a federal parliamentarian, said the announcement was a "sham" and that the public had a right to consultation prior to any decisions being made.

He called on Premier Steven Marshall to intervene.

"It is unconscionable to make a decision when the public, to whom both the government and SA Water serve, aren't able to be properly engaged on the decision that's being made," the South Australian-based senator said.

Senator Patrick reiterated that he agreed that water security for the Eyre Peninsula was needed, and soon, but he shared aquaculture industry concerns about the bay location.

The land earmarked for the plant is within Lukin Corporation's landholdings, owned by Dean Lukin junior.

The water agency has reached an agreement with Mr Lukin pending the required development and environmental approvals.

The agency's general manager of sustainable infrastructure, Amanda Lewry, said Billy Lights Point would allow more effective delivery of water.

"It has good proximity to our existing water infrastructure and, importantly, to electricity," she said.

"The site we have been able to secure at Billy Lights Point does provide a larger footprint.

"That is important because it does provide a buffer from residential areas ... by having a location closer to Port Lincoln it certainly enables us to have that water quality improvement."

Ms Lewry said there was a "wealth" of information and data about water and tidal movements in the Boston and Proper bays.

This information showed adequate water movement for the dissipation of high-salinity discharge.

"It's clearly demonstrated with adequate scientific data that you can disperse that saline to less than one PSU (practical salinity unit) within 100 metres of the outfall," she said.

She said more data was being collected to determine best positions for the intake and outfall of the plant.

But Tackleworld Port Lincoln owner Shane Hodgens said the agency's local studies hadn't been going on long enough.

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