LETTER TO THE EDITOR
The ALEC team have been advised that our application for the review of the Water Controllers decision on the Singleton Station licence granting 40 Mega litres per annum for 30 years to Fortune Agribusiness has been referred to the Water Resources Review Panel.
We are anticipating being called up to appear before them within the next six weeks, as they are scheduled to provide their final report to the Minster on September 24 for her to make her final decision.
Alex Vaughan and I met with Minister Lawler [who] advised that the two environmental law omnibus bills are now being deferred.
It was clear that the decision to delay the tabling of the bills was in response to a lot of concern raised from a variety of stakeholders.
We understand that the process around those bills is going to be completely slowed so that the department can undertake public consultations. We understand this will be delayed until at least next year. We are pleased and see this as a step in a positive direction.
The bad news is that the first of these laws, the Statute Law Amendment (Territory Economic Reconstruction) Bill 2021 (TERC Bill) which was introduced in May 2021 is still up for debate [this] week.
Looking forward, the Water Security Directions Paper is anticipated to be published later this month, followed by a comprehensive public consultation process.
Jade Kudrenko, General Manager, Arid Lands Environment Centre (ALEC).
PHOTO strip: Fortune Agribusiness, on its website, states Singleton “is suitable for a large variety of annual and perennial crops. The climate also enables year round production, and production outside the typical growing seasons for most of Australia. This will enable sale of produce at premium prices. From the list of crops that could be grown in the Western Davenport Region, a shortlist of seven crop options including mandarin, table grape, dried grape, onions, avocado, muskmelon and jujube, is identified”.