Boost For Great Artesian Basin In State Budget

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water The Honourable Glenn Butcher
  • Up-to $32 million for Great Artesian Basin Water Security Project
  • Funds to deliver more capping and piping activities in the Basin

The Miles Labor Government continues to protect the Great Artesian Basin (GAB), with up-to $32 million over four years to deliver more capping and piping activities.

This will add to the more-than $89 million the Queensland Government has already invested to protect the GAB. This important program has leveraged co-investment from landholders and industry.

The GAB supports around 80 communities in outback Queensland and is essential to agriculture, industry and the environment.

In addition, the GAB supports more than 280 natural spring ecosystems, with many of these ecosystems providing a home to rare and endangered flora and fauna.

Since work began to improve the GAB, more than 226,000 megalitres a year has been returned to the basin.

So far, this work has saved about 3,000 megalitres of water, capping eight bores and replacing 137 kilometres of open bore drains with controlled watering systems. It is hoped that another 2,182 megalitres of water can be returned to the basin with this funding and get another step closer to the goal of becoming watertight by 2032.

The protection of this crucial water source is supported by the Miles Government’s announcement to ban carbon capture and storage in the Queensland component of the Great Artesian Basin.

As stated by Premier Steven Miles:

“Protecting our wonderful Queensland environment is really important to me.

“Supporting our primary producers is absolutely critical for our economy and further investment in this bore-capping program is doing just that by locking in water security.

“The Great Artesian Basin is just too important to Queensland to mess with, that’s why we have banned CCS in the Great Artesian Basin and it’s why we are continuing to protect one of the greatest natural assets in the world.”

As stated by Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing, Minister for Water, Glenn Butcher:

“The Great Artesian Basin is the largest groundwater aquifer in the world and is a pristine feature that we must protect.

I’m proud to be part of the Government that is banning carbon capture and storage in the GAB forever. But our work doesn’t stop there – our capping and piping work brings together graziers, environmentalists and regional Councils – who all understand the importance of this vital water resource.

“The LNP were all over the shop on the GAB. They say one thing to farmers and another thing to Boardrooms in Brisbane. Further proof they just can’t be trusted to govern in the interests of Queenslanders.”

As stated by Murweh Shire Council, Mayor Shaun (Zoro) Radnedge:

“This program is all about capping bores which is making our water source more sustainable and more reliable.

“Not only does this give us more reliability, but also sustainability and for our future generations, the Great Artesian Basin needs to be protected and I applaud the Miles Labor Government.”

As stated by Queensland Farmers’ Federation CEO, Jo Sheppard:

“QFF welcomes the Queensland government’s ongoing investment in the Great Artesian Basin Water Security Program to continue our journey towards the goal of making the Basin watertight by 2032. This important initiative has supported the rehabilitation of approximately 770 bores, 450 bores piped and seen over 15,000 km of open drains decommissioned since its inception which has resulted in significant water savings and the restoration of groundwater pressure across the basin.

“The Great Artesian Basin is one of our most valuable natural water producing assets and it is our responsibility to continue to protect it for future generations. This program is a direct investment in water security for farmers and regional communities who rely upon the Great Artesian Basin.”

As stated by Economist, Professor Ross Garnaut:

“The scheme to cap the wasting wells of the Great Artesian Basin is a tremendous success story in environmental management. One of Australia’s important success stories.

“I’m delighted to hear that the Queensland Government has invited the Commonwealth Government to join it in going a big step towards completing this major environmental project.”

/Public Release. View in full here.