Water Week

EWN Publishing

Amendments to Souh Australia’s Penola pulp mill bill set to rest fears of how water is to be allocated

Posted by waterweek on 28 September 2007

One issue that was raised by a lot of people in connection with the planned Penola pulp mill was the issue of the licence for water to be taken for the mill process itself, South Australian MHA R.G. Kerin said in the South Australian House of Assembly on 11 September 2007.

Mill operators must buy extra water: “It was put to us by several people that, with this measure involving a minister different from the one concerned with the NRM legislation, the mill proponents might, for instance, 12 months after the operation commenced, say to the forestry minister, ‘This water recycling has turned out to be too expensive: we need you to double our licence’,” said Kerin. “That was a fear that was expressed to us by some people, but the fact that we have recommended the word `reduced’ rather than just “vary”, I think, remedies that issue. If, in fact, the mill proponents wish to change the process or need more water than is granted in this allocation, they will need to go to the market and buy it. I think that has removed a lot of the concerns about that issue.”

Water from confined aquifer: “There was some confusion about the fact that it was direct competition and about what would happen if other irrigators were cut back, but that matter comes back to be managed by the minister in the future. There was also some misunderstanding about the fact that the water in this licence actually comes from the confined aquifer which is connected to, but which is not actually, the actual aquifer from which the irrigators draw,” Kerin said.

Reference: R.G. Kerin, Member for Frome, House of Assembly, South Australia, 11 September 2007.

Erisk Net, 16/9/2007

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