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Concerns Raised Over Selected Desal Plant Location

Members of the local fishing industry have opposed SA Water’s decision to select Billy Lights Point as the preferred location for a desalination plant.

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On Friday, SA Water announced their decision after analysing 20 different sites around Port Lincoln and the lower Eyre Peninsula.

The organisation says the plant will provide a new reliable source of drinking water to supplement both existing groundwater sources and the River Murray.

However, the proposed location has been derided by many in the local aquaculture industry, with a protest held on the Port Lincoln marina on Wednesday.

Owner of Tackleworld Port Lincoln, Shane Hodgens, says the location of the desalination plant could have a big impact on fish fleets.

He says a desal plant should be built at a place where the high salinity levels will be dissipated. 

"Just about everybody I spoke to is for a desalination plant so we do need one, we understand that, but at what cost, and if you're putting it in the bay there's a lot at risk," he said.

SA Water’s General Manager of Sustainable Infrastructure, Amanda Lewry says the site provides a number of advantages for the facility.

"It provides reduced technical and environmental risk (and) it also has great proximity to the existing water and electricity networks in and around Port Lincoln," she said.

Photo: Pexels