The Environment Protection Authority (EPA) has given the green light for a new irrigated agricultural proposal in the Kimberley, Western Australia.

The EPA has recommended the implementation of Kimberley Agricultural Investments (KAI)Carlton Plain: Stage one irrigated agriculture proposal, subject to certain conditions.  

KAI acquired Carlton Hill station from the Consolidated Pastoral Company in 2016 for $60 million with the intent of developing some of the land for irrigation.

EPA Chair, Dr Tom Hatton, said Carlton Plain Stage one, is one of four separate irrigated agriculture proposals across the state undergoing EPA assessment.

“This particular proposal to develop 3055 hectares of land for irrigated agriculture to grow grains, cotton, perennial horticulture and the like, is the initial component of a three-staged development, within the overall Carlton Plain freehold area,” Dr Hatton said.

“The EPA considered the proposal’s potential impacts on riparian vegetation, the Ord River as well as impacts to local Aboriginal heritage and placed conditions on the proponent to protect the integrity of these important values.”

Several conditions have been outlined by the EPA for KAI to follow, including maintaining habitat for migratory birds, improving the ecological condition of riparian vegetation along the Ord River, minimising weed infestation, maintaining soil productivity, and protecting the Carlton wetland and downstream wetlands.

A number of irrigated agriculture proposals are currently undergoing environmental assessment, and each proposal will be assessed on its individual environmental impacts.”

Other irrigated agriculture proposals under assessment include; Gogo Station Irrigated Agriculture Development; Pardoo Irrigated Agriculture Project-Stage three and Shamrock Station Irrigation Development. 

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