The Hon. Nicola Centofanti, Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Primary Industries (SA), Media Release, 5 April 2023
Deputy Premier Susan Close’s decision to ignore local expertise on a preferred site for a critical Eyre Peninsula desalination plant has angered community leaders and industry.
Last month, Susan Close announced that the Malinauskas Labor Government had chosen the Billy Lights Point as the site for the Eyre Peninsula Desalination Plant rather than the site recommended by the Independent Eyre Peninsula Desalination Site Selection Committee – Sleaford West.
Susan Close has dismissed impacts that have been raised by the aquaculture industry as well as local government, community leaders and other stakeholders on the environmental health of the Bay at large.
Her decision puts at risk the $200 million seafood sector, hundreds of regional jobs, and the goodwill of the South Australian food export brand.
Shadow Minister for Regional Development and Primary Industries, Nicola Centofanti, has been inundated with complaints from the community who have also raised frustration with Labor Minister Clare Scriven who is nowhere to be seen on the controversial decision.
“It beggars belief that Susan Close and the Malinauskas Labor Government have boycotted the advice from the Independent EP Desalination Site Selection Committee who did an outstanding job to listen to all stakeholders and the local community to come up with a site that had broad community support in Sleaford West,” Mrs Centofanti said.
“But while this decision was being made, it appears Clare Scriven ran and ducked for cover.
“Clare Scriven’s silence is deafening and a slap in the face for the aquaculture industry that she is meant to represent. It speaks volumes about the city-centric Malinauskas Labor Government that once again has made a huge decision impacting regional communities from an ivory tower in Adelaide.
“I have written to Susan Close requesting she reconsiders her decision on the site for the sake of the aquaculture industry and for the sake of the broader Eyre Peninsula community. This issue is too important to the future of water security on the Eyre Peninsula and for the future of the communities that rely on that water to let her lazy decision-making slide.”