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What the Papers Say

Base extension gets EPA tick

Onslow's new marine support base is a step closer to starting development of stage 2 after gaining endorsement from the State's environmental watchdog.

The Environmental Protection Authority has recommended environmental approval for a proposal to extend the Onslow Marine Support Base to allow offshore vessels to access the facility.

EPA deputy chairman Robert Harvey said the authority had concluded it was environmentally acceptable and could be implemented with conditions.

"The proponent, Onslow Marine Support Base, proposes to modify and extend the Beadon Creek harbour approach channel, turning basin and berth pocket, which includes a significant amount of dredging," he said.

"The proponent incorporated contemporary and locally relevant dredging science from the Western Australian Marine Science Institution into its predictions and proposed management of the project's impacts.

"This means we had a high level of confidence during the assessment.

"The use of the latest dredging science, as well as the conditions identified by the EPA, including the implementation of a dredging and spoil disposal management plan, means the proposal can be managed in an environmentally acceptable way." 

If approved, the proponent will dredge up to 950,000cum of sediment to be disposed of onshore next to the Onslow airport.

It is proposed the dredged material be reused to develop and extend Onslow's light industrial area.

The EPA's report is now open for a public appeal period, closing on February 19.

Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price said she was pleased to see the Northern Australia Infrastructure Fund-backed facility progress.

"The Onslow Marine Support Base will create an extra 200 odd jobs for the town, and will provide a real boost for the region as a whole," she said.

"This is a $120 million project that will light a fire under the oil and gas industry in the Carnarvon basin.

"The Federal Government have put their money where their mouth is as far as Onslow is concerned."

Ms Price said NAIF funding for the base and an $11 million grant to an industrial waste management facility showed the Federal Government was committed to developing Onslow.

Source: Pilbara News 

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