Destruction of pristine water being waved through by Labor Government: Katter

Mar 7, 2024

The pristine water in the Great Artesian Basin is no place for mining giant Glencore’s industrial waste, Katter’s Australia Party (KAP) Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.

Mining giant Glencore have obtained approval from the federal government to inject CO2 industrial waste into the Great Artesian Basin, with the Queensland Government set to follow suit.

“The KAP will not stand-by while the Queensland Government is ready to allow irreversible pollution of the pristine water that sustains life and industry throughout inland Queensland and Australia” Mr Katter said.

“Labor governments, both State and Federal, have rushed through policies espousing that they are saving the environment, promoting capture of carbon emissions – yet here we are about to witness the destruction of one of the world’s greatest water resources.”

Glencore plan to scrub emissions from their Millmerran Coal Fire power station and truck the CO2 industrial waste to pump into the Great Artesian Basin.

“In return for destroying the 65 million megalitre resource, Glencore would be rewarded with Australian Carbon Credit Units, meaning taxpayers will pay Glencore to poison our water,” the leader of the KAP said.

“It also astounds me that the Greens remain conspicuously silent on such a diabolical proposal, with such devastating environmental outcomes.

“Instead, Greens MP Michael Berkman is outside our Queensland house of democracy inciting a rabid mob, supporting the cause of Palestinians 14,000 kilometres away.

“If the Greens had any backbone and really stood for the environment, they would be all over this application to destroy the Great Artesian Basin.”

AgForce CEO Michael Guerin backed Mr Katter’s calls for an immediate end to the application from Glencore, saying that the Members of AgForce and the wider Australian Agriculture industry will fight the proposal all the way – to the Federal Court if need be.

“We know that the so-called science the Glencore is pedalling cannot be trusted – it’s only modelled!  Some of AgForce’s advice indicates a real possibility of releasing the likes of lead and arsenic into the 65 million megalitres in the Great Artesian Basin, were Glencore’s plan to be waved through.  We simply cannot afford to take that risk.

“Hundreds of communities across inland Queensland, and indeed four states and territories of Australia rely on the pristine water from the Great Artesian Basin.  These communities and AgForce will not stand by and see their only water supply poisoned.”

Traeger MP Robbie Katter said he was immensely frustrated that for years he had fought hammer and tong to get even one more drop of water from the Flinders River for productive use, yet all he hears from Minister Glenn Butcher, the Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water is “NO”.

“We have so much potential in my electorate, but it is all stone-walled by the Labor Government’s boffins in Brisbane.

“Projects such as HIPCo are ready to go.  There is enormous potential to support the township of Hughenden and the wider region, increasing jobs, and supporting struggling rural communities.

“All I hear from Minister Butcher is excuses and bureaucratic nonsense.

“Yet, this Minister and his Department are ready side with the ethically compromised multinational mining company Glencore.

“You cannot unscramble this egg.  This application from Glencore must be ripped up and thrown in the bin – before we see an irreversible environmental disaster.

“Inland Queensland deserves better from this Government.”

Photo: AgForce CEO Michael Guerin with KAP State Members.