Fortune Agribusiness is a Southbank company that plans to build a massive Central Australian fruit and vegetable farm. Last Thursday, it was handed the biggest water license ever granted in the Northern Territory.
Fortune Agribusiness wants to build a 3500-hectare irrigated horticulture project at Singleton cattle station, some 380 km north of Alice Springs. Therefore, it applied to the NT government in July to extract 40 billion litres of underground water per year.
The Department of Environment, Parks and Water Security approved a 30-year licence to extract the water, saying Fortune would have to comply with strict controls. The reason for the proviso was the concern this caused among native title holders.
"The protection of environmental and cultural assets, along with the interests of existing users, are always the key priorities when assessing water licence applications," NT Controller of Water Resources Jo Townsend told thewest.com.au. "That's why stringent conditions have been attached to this water licence, which will be monitored closely by the department and publicly reported."
Fortune Agribusiness chairman Peter Wood said the company was delighted with the decision.