Government hosts first panel on the future of Lake Eyre Basin
14 December 2021
Today the Palaszczuk Government is holding the first of a series of consultations with key interest groups on the future of the Lake Eyre Basin.
Traditional owners, graziers, scientists and conservationists as well as representatives from the resource sector and local government have formed a panel which will negotiate balancing the economic and environmental aspirations of the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin, including the free flowing Channel Country rivers and fertile floodplains.
The Queensland Government is yet to deliver on their seven year old commitment to protect the Channel Country’s environmental and academic values.
Meanwhile Origin Energy has applied to mine shale resources from areas around Jundah and Windorah totaling 225,000 hectares. Shale oil or gas is yet to be approved anywhere in Queensland and is considered more controversial than traditional oil and gas drilling as it usually requires hydraulic fracturing (otherwise known as fracking) and uses significantly more water and chemicals in the extraction process.
Ann Rayment is a cattle producer in the Channel Country and believes the potential for gas and oil mining in the region will put one of the last untouched river basins in Australia, at risk.
“The Channel Country in my opinion, is ‘God’s own country’, with considerable areas of pristine rivers, creeks, floodplains and waterholes, which are surrounded by arguably some of the best organic grazing country in Australia – a natural grassfed feedlot.”
“I am voicing my concerns now, before it is too late. I don’t want to look back in 10 to 20 years’ time and use the two most futile words strung together; ‘IF ONLY’.”
“No amount of money will ever undo the potential devastation this type of mining could cause: irreversible – end of story.”
Windorah resident and Mithaka Traditional Owner, George Gorringe, has been involved in the community’s ongoing fight to preserve the Channel Country rivers and floodplains for decades.
“We saved Cooper Creek from cotton irrigation in the 90s, and I reckon if we come together again we can save these precious rivers from oil and gas mining too,” said Mr Gorringe.
“These rivers are more than just a resource for making money. They are as significant to this country as its birds and animals - our stories all depend on the rivers,” said Mr Gorringe.