A 30 year Groundwater Extraction Licence has been granted to Fortune Agribusiness Funds Management Pty Ltd for its property Singleton Station.
Singleton Station is about 380 km north of Alice Springs and 150 km south of Tennant Creek.
Should the proponent achieve all the necessary legal requirements and meet its licence conditions, at full development 40,000 ML/yr of groundwater will be released in the following stages:
• Stage 1 – 12 788 ML/yr for a period of 2 years from the approval date
• Stage 2 – 22 845 ML/yr for a period of 2 years from the approval date
• Stage 3 – 31 779 ML/yr for a period of 2 years from the approval date
• Stage 4 – 40 000 ML/yr for a period of 2 years from the approval date
In addition to the staging conditions, the Northern Territory Controller of Water Resources, Jo Townsend, has also applied conditions that require public reporting of the compliance with the licence and the application of any management actions.
The application was granted after rigorous modelling and data showed the licensed amount is sustainable and can be managed without adversely impacting other users, as well as environmental assets or cultural assets, if conditions are met.
Failure by the proponent to meet licence conditions could result in water being withheld or withheld and returned to the consumptive pool.
The proponent will also need to obtain the necessary land clearing and non-pastoral use permits and refer the proposal to the Northern Territory Environment Protection Authority for assessment under the Environment Protection Act before any bores can begin extracting groundwater.
The decision was made in accordance with the Water Act 1992 and the Western Davenport Water Allocation Plan 2018-2021 https://depws.nt.gov.au/water/water-management/water-allocation-plans/western-davenport-water-allocation-plan
The full notice of decision is publicly available at https://waterresources.nt.gov.au/WaterLicensingPortal/Licences.htm with a 30-day review period now underway.
Quotes from Jo Townsend, Northern Territory Controller of Water Resources
“The protection of environmental and cultural assets, along with the interests of existing users, are always the key priorities when assessing water licence applications,” Ms Townsend said.
“That’s why stringent conditions have been attached to this water licence, which will monitored closely by the Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security and publically reported on.
“The release of water can and will be withheld should the proponent breach its licence conditions.”