Flinders candidates call for right Eyre Peninsula desal plant location

SPEAKER: Liberal Candidate for Flinders Sam Telfer at the Hands Off Boston Bay information day in November. Photo: Jarrad Delaney
SPEAKER: Liberal Candidate for Flinders Sam Telfer at the Hands Off Boston Bay information day in November. Photo: Jarrad Delaney

The two candidates for the seat of Flinders in the state election have put their support behind a reliable location for the proposed Eyre Peninsula desalination plant that will not affect local aquaculture.

Concern had been raised within Port Lincoln, particularly from the seafood industry due to a plan to build a desalination plant at Billy Lights Point, which included the Hands Off Boston Bay information day late last year.

Liberal Candidate for Flinders Sam Telfer was one of the speakers at the information day and said there were many community and economic opportunities which could be strengthened by the plant project, however it should not be at the expense of existing businesses or industries.

"I believe that if a desalination plant was to be located within an aquaculture precinct, there would be too much potential risk and uncertainty for our important aquaculture and fishing sectors," he said.

"This is why I am supportive of a desalination location that does not impact or put at risk the EP's significant aquaculture industry."

Mr Telfer said he welcomed the decision late last year by Environment Minister David Speirs to delay the project for 12 months and to start an appropriate local community and industry consultation group to have input in the process.

Independent Candidate for Flinders Liz Habermann has added her voice to those opposing a plant in either Boston Bay or Proper Bay and has called for a commitment from the government and the opposition.

She said she also questioned why it had taken this long to find an ideal location for the plant.

"Clearly locating a plant in Boston Bay, Proper Bay or near an aquaculture licence is the wrong location," she said.

"I will not be happy until Mr Marshall, Leader of the Liberal Party and Mr Malinauskas, Leader of the Labor Party both rule out building a desalination plant in Boston Bay, Proper Bay or near any aquaculture licence, as either of them will be Premier after the next election.

"I call up on both of them to clearly state their position with regard to the desal plant location."

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