Great Artesian Basin decision a win for communities

Published: 24th May 2024

The Queensland environmental regulator’s decision to reject a carbon capture and storage (CCS) proposal for the Great Artesian Basin is a huge win for the liveability of local communities across large parts of Queensland.

The State Government must now introduce a moratorium to stop any further proposals.

Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Alison Smith said the association welcomed the Department of Environment, Science and Innovation’s decision not to allow the CCS proposal to proceed.

“The need to protect the Great Artesian Basin has united councils across this state,” Ms Smith said.

“It has also united sectors with farmers, conservationists and councils all coming together in a campaign to defend this precious natural asset.”

Ms Smith said Queensland councils now wanted to see a moratorium in place to ensure the Great Artesian Basin is protected for future generations, ensuring the very existence of many rural communities is assured. 

The decision follows calls as recently as this week from Queensland mayors for the State Government to reject the carbon capture and storage proposal and a moratorium.

Murweh Shire Mayor Shaun ‘Zoro’ Radnedge said: “We need the decision makers, the State Government and the Premier to show common sense and protect the Great Artesian Basin for all the communities that rely on that all through Queensland.”

Etheridge Shire Mayor Barry Hughes said: “In my view, the Great Artesian Basin is non-negotiable when it comes to utilising it as a dumping point for carbon-impacted water.

Blackall-Tambo Regional Shire Mayor Andrew ‘Marto’ Martin said:  “If you poison our well, we can’t drink it – 60 per cent of the land mass of Queensland drink the water straight from the artesian basin.”

Isaac Regional Council Mayor Kelly Vea Vea said:  “Legislation should be put in place to prevent this ever occurring, for the benefit of all the communities that thrive off the Great Artesian Basin.”

Gladstone Regional Council Mayor Matt Burnett said: “From a Gladstone point of view, we are leading the way when it comes to renewable energy and energy transition but what we don’t want to see is the Great Artesian Basin ruined on the way through to chasing net zero by 2050.”

Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Geoff McDonald said: “Tinkering with the Great Artesian Basin with any level of risk of what it could end up like, the unknown, is just not worth the risk.”

Longreach Regional Council Mayor Tony Rayner said: “It’s our lifeblood and we certainly don’t want it to be put at any risk that’s why it’s critical the state make an urgent decision not to allow the injection of CO2 into the Great Artesian Basin.”

Maranoa Regional Council Deputy Mayor Cameron O’Neil said: “Our community is 100 per cent reliant on the GAB for potable water. Our agricultural producers rely on this beautiful resource and very important resource and it needs to be protected at all costs.”

Read the decision here.


For more information, please contact:

Dan Knowles, Media Advisor
Phone: 0432 681 664
Local Government Association of Queensland