29.9 C
Byron Shire
March 28, 2023

Mines will drain central Qld water: report

Latest News

Apples and pears

by Victoria Cosford These long hot golden days are lulling us into the belief that summer will go on forever...

Other News

Corrie’s Frock Shop safe in family hands

Fifty-four years is a long time to be in the workforce let alone in the one business in the one town, but that is how Corrie van Dommele has spent most of her adult life – at Corrie's Frock Shop in Ballina, but now she is about to call it quits.

A pawn in AUKUS

Xi’s defensive ‘ring of steel’ comment, aimed at his domestic audience, clearly suggests that the US is being characterised...

Dumb and dumber

Now that our elected representatives have jointly signed up to a project with the UK and US of $368...

Adam’s second bite at the Lismore apple

The Greens candidate for the seat of Lismore, Adam Guise has run this race once before in 2015, where he gained a notable swing toward the Greens in the primary vote.

Not a ‘bonanza for developers and land bankers’ as local councils lose planning controls?

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment were quick to respond to the article ‘A bonanza for developers and land bankers?’ published on 21 March 2023 on The Echo online ‘to correct the inaccuracies contained in your article’.

MP supports controversial AUKUS deal

Despite former Labor prime minister, Paul Keating, calling the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal the ‘worst international decision’ by a Labor government in more than 100 years, local federal Labor MP, Justine Elliot is promoting the massive increase in military spending as good for the ‘national interest’.

Alpha Coal Mine Test Pit
The Alpha Mine test pit in Queensland. Photo courtesy Lock The Gate Alliance. © Greenpeace/Andrew Quilty

Proposed coal mines will drain the equivalent of two-and-a-half Sydney harbours of groundwater in central Queensland, a report says.

Released on Monday and commissioned by anti-mining group Lock the Gate Alliance, the report assesses mining proposals and analyses potential groundwater impacts in the Galilee basin in the state’s central west.

Several mining companies have proposed more than 34 open cut and 11 underground coal mines along a 270 kilometre stretch of the cattle grazing country.

Authored by former senior Queensland government water bureaucrat Tom Crothers, the report says the mine projects combined will have an enormous impact on groundwater levels.

Mr Crothers suggests they could also interfere with the Great Artesian Basin.

The report says federal and state governments have failed to assess the cumulative impacts the mining projects will have on groundwater relied upon by farmers and towns.

‘Groundwater drawdown will significantly reduce the ability for surrounding graziers and towns to supply their water needs,’ it says.

Mr Crothers estimates the mines would consume a total of 1,354 billion litres over project life estimations of between 30 and 90 years.

This is the equivalent of two-and-a-half Sydney Harbours removed from underground storages. Towns affected include Jericho and Alpha, west of Emerald.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokeswoman Ellie Smith says mining approvals in the area should be suspended until the government undertakes further studies.

‘Our communities depend on groundwater – it’s our lifeblood,’ she said.

‘The coal companies and our governments are treating us with contempt by rushing ahead to develop these damaging mines without even quantifying the true risk to the region’s water resources.’

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Rethinking the tourism paradigm

The past three years have been a fairly challenging time for the Byron tourism Industry, after fires, floods, and a pandemic. According to local tourism organisation, Destination Byron, now seems the right time to rethink the tourism paradigm for Byron.

The search for Australia’s best public dunny is on again!

The Continence Foundation of Australia is asking for submissions to find Australia’s best public toilets as part of this year’s much-loved Great Dunny Hunt.

$200k in grants available for local not-for-profits

The inGrained Foundation has announced a $200,000 funding pool for the 2023 Northern Rivers Large Grants Program, opening this April.

Cooler year ‘reprieve’ but trends continue, says Australia’s Environment Report

The latest annual report on the state of Australia’s environment has suggested that 2022’s higher than average rainfall could provide “a reprieve” for Australia and better enable it to cope with the forecast 2023 dry spell.