Alongside thousands of Queenslanders, I am counting on you to protect the free-flowing rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin and the floodplains of the Channel Country by excluding oil and gas activities from these sensitive areas.
It is alarming that petroleum production licenses on large areas of sensitive floodplains have been granted before the stakeholder consultation process has finished and despite your continual commitment to protect the Channel Country rivers and floodplains.
2015: “we are committed to protecting pristine rivers with consent of Traditional Owners.”
2017: “A re-elected Labor government will work with traditional owners, stakeholders and communities to ensure our state's pristine rivers are protected.”
2020: “Our government made a commitment to ensure the protection of streams and floodplains in the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin… If re-elected, our government will establish a Lake Eyre Basin (Qld) Stakeholder Advisory Group to discuss the proposed framework.”
The Channel Country is one of Queensland’s - and the world’s - most iconic natural places and among our greatest natural assets. These rivers are some of the last free flowing desert rivers on Earth. The wetlands and water holes of the rivers and floodplains support an abundance of significant birdlife and other wildlife, while the floodplains provide rich natural pastures for a thriving grazing industry and spectacular vistas supporting a growing tourism industry. The rich and ongoing cultural connection First Nations peoples have to these waterways is invaluable and should not be compromised.
I stand with the Traditional Owners, local community members, and expert scientists calling for stronger protection of this river system from unconventional gas fracking. The rivers and floodplains of the Channel Country are no place for industrial oil and gas fracking fields.
The Palaszczuk Government has repeatedly promised to implement stronger protection of Channel Country rivers and floodplains. However new applications for gas exploration and production across these areas continue to be approved.
There is still time to deliver on your promise to protect the Channel Country rivers and floodplains for the communities and wildlife that depend on them. I urge you to immediately place a hold on any new approvals for gas exploration and production until permanent protections are in place.
Will you fulfill your promise to protect the Channel Country rivers and floodplains by excluding unconventional oil and gas activities?