Clarifying key points

Some recent community conversation about Kangaroo Island’s new desalination plant has misrepresented key pieces of information.

Here are key points to clarify statements you might have seen or heard:

  • The location and concept design of the desalination plant was shared for community feedback in more than 10 drop-in sessions and presentations held across the Island in August and September 2021.
  • The State Commission Assessment Panel (SCAP) conducted their independent review process – which included public consultation and considered submissions from some local community members – and recommended the Development Application for approval by the Minister, which was granted on 16 February 2022. You can read the full Development Application (Submission and Response) and SCAP’s Decision Notification Form with the conditions of approval that must be met.
  • In response to community feedback, the facility’s design was repositioned within the identified site, excavated into the hill and some tall equipment was reconfigured from vertical to horizontal. These design amendments remain our commitment and conditions of the Development Approval that must be met.
  • To minimise potential impact on residents in the area, the facility will – as a minimum – comply with noise limits stipulated by the Environment Protection Authority for this zone, which range between 40 and 45 decibels. For context, this decibel range is the equivalent of a personal computer cooling fan, light rain or a quiet library. This remains our commitment and a condition of the Development Approval.
  • To enable local input into the facility’s final design, we formed an eight person working group who have come together three times over the last six months and made key selections for building and fencing materials and colours, and landscape design and screening vegetation. Our commitments to the working group and decisions we have collaborated on, remain unchanged.
  • A new barrier will be installed along Hog Bay Road to improve road safety outcomes and provide separation from the new facility.
  • Island freight companies were consulted and received our commitment they will still be able to continue using some of the site as an informal parking area both during and after construction of the new facility.
  • While our water storage site at the corner of Hog Bay and Charing Cross Roads is reflected in local planning guides, the area shown is larger than the land we own. An expansion on this site is not feasible as it would require land acquisition and native vegetation clearance, be closer to the nearest residence, and have higher bushfire and environmental risks.
  • The new facility will meet current projected water demand on the Island, and while some allowance is made for potential future expansion, there are no identified plans. Any future expansion would constitute new development and would be subject to the development approval and consultation processes of the time.


If you would like more information contact our team at kinewdesal@sawater.com.au so you can get the facts first hand.

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