Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) Chair Dr Tom Hatton has recommended approval for a second irrigated agriculture proposal in the Kimberley this year.
Releasing the EPA’s environmental impact assessment for Argyle Cattle Company Pty Ltd’s Shamrock Station Irrigation Project, Dr Hatton said the proposal was environmentally acceptable and could proceed, subject to certain conditions.
“After a comprehensive environmental assessment process, we concluded this irrigated agriculture proposal could to proceed, subject to the development of an environmental management plan by the proponent,” Dr Hatton said.
“This is the second irrigated agriculture proposal to be recommended for approval this year and, with two more irrigated agriculture proposals under assessment, it is important to remember that each proposal to undergo EPA assessment is treated as unique, with consideration given to their distinctive environmental values based on location, proximity to significant areas and how well the water will be managed.”
The Shamrock Station Irrigation Project has a disturbance footprint of up to 1,200 hectares (ha) comprising of 650 ha of clearing for pivots, the installation of up to 12 groundwater abstraction bores for the abstraction of 9.5 gigalitres (GL) of groundwater per year.
The proposal aims to produce fodder to support intensive cattle grazing at the station.
Key considerations of the environmental management plan will include minimising the impacts on potential habitat for terrestrial fauna species, in particular the Greater Bilby as well as minimising the impacts on the water quality of the Broome Sandstone Aquifer.
Dr Hatton said the EPA assessed agricultural proposals which were significant in nature or located in or near sensitive environments.
The EPA’s report to the Minister for Environment is now open for a two-week public appeal period, closing Wednesday 13th June, 2018. Appeals can be made at www.appealsconvenor.wa.gov.au
The Minister for Environment will make the final decision.
EPA Media Contact: Vivienne Ryan 0400 866 450