Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts
Pipeline approved with strict conditions
12 February 2010
The northern pipeline interconnector will be allowed to proceed under national environment law but must meet strict environmental conditions. The federal environment department has completed its thorough consideration of the Southern Regional Water Pipeline Company proposal, the Queensland Coordinator-General’s assessment report, as well as all public submissions.
A departmental delegate has determined that, with the mitigation measures in place and the strict conditions imposed on the project, it will not have unacceptable impacts on nationally protected matters.
The department has carefully considered the submissions provided by the public and the concerns raised about the potential impact on nationally threatened and migratory species, and the Mary River.
A key component of the department’s approval decision includes limiting the transport of no more than 20 megalitres a day from the Coles Crossing offtake on the Mary River.
This is the amount of water permitted under existing water allocations with an additional 2 megalitres to allow for measurement error. In light of this limitation, the project will not have a significant impact on matters protected under national environment law.
Impacts on threatened species
To minimise possible impacts on nationally protected species, the department is requiring the company to undertake further surveying and prepare a number of management and monitoring plans. These plans must be approved by the federal government before construction can begin in areas where nationally protected matters may occur.
The company must also prepare, within three months, an overarching environmental management plan showing how it will minimise impacts on these nationally protected species along the pipeline route.
Monitoring of conditions
To ensure the company complies with these requirements, there are conditions in place requiring it to submit annual reports, and audits will be done if there are any concerns about the amount of water being transported through the pipeline. To view the conditions placed on the project, go to www.environment.gov.au
Media contact: 02 6274 2544 / 02 6275 9412
Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities
GPO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: +61 2 6275 9248
Fax: +61 2 6274 1094
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