Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Point Lowly desalination plant – profit for BHP, destruction to environment

 the Rann Government’s lack of foresight is being clouded by the short term financial windfall created by the mine. “It’s just the cheapest, nastiest alternative,” said Melville-Smith. “There is no planning for the future of South Australia,

The Point Lowly desal plant that’s got SA squabbling Crikey   Esther Ooi 23 May 11: BHP Billiton refuses to back down from its controversial plans to build a desalination plant at Point Lowly, South Australia. The plant forms part of the proposed Olympic Dam mine expansion, but fears are growing over the possible risk of significant environmental damage.

“The fact is, it is just the worst place you could put a desalination plant,” Dr. Andrew Melville-Smith, chairperson of the Save Point Lowly group, told Crikey. He also says there will be severe ecological damage on Point Lowly’s recreational, coastal and living areas.

BHP recently released its Supplementary Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which examined a range of environmental issues regarding the proposed desalination plant and found Point Lowly to be the most appropriate fit. Furthermore, its proximity to Olympic Dam mine, easy construction of a water pipeline and availability to land and utilities made it the most viable option for the company.

Both the Olympic Dam mine and township of Roxby Downs do not have a long-term sustainable water supply due to its isolated location, and if the mine wishes to expand it will need an alternative water supply, which the new plant would provide…..

Tom Koutsantonis, SA Minister for Mineral Resource Development, told Crikey that this development would be critical in supporting the prosperity of South Australia through the rapidly expanding mining industry.

However, Melville-Smith argues that the Rann Government’s lack of foresight is being clouded by the short term financial windfall created by the mine. “It’s just the cheapest, nastiest alternative,” said Melville-Smith. “There is no planning for the future of South Australia, if it’s not in Adelaide than it doesn’t count.”……http://blogs.crikey.com.au/rooted/2011/05/23/the-point-lowly-desal-plant-thats-got-sa-squabbling/

May 24, 2011 - Posted by | South Australia, uranium, water | ,

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