Dec 15, 2023

Queensland’s new “green” Premier needs to ensure Glencore’s greedy hands are kept off the Great Artesian Basin (GAB) and that the Swiss-based company is meeting its environmental and social obligations across the State, Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Leader and Traeger MP Robbie Katter has said.

Glencore is currently seeking environmental approval for a three-year trial of a carbon capture project involving Australia’s biggest underground freshwater reservoir.

The plan would involve capturing and liquifying CO2 from the Millmerran coal-fired power station then trucking it north to be stored.

Around 110,000 tonnes of CO2 would be cached around 2.3km underground, into the Precipice Sandstone which is a groundwater formation of the GAB.

A decision by the Queensland Government on Glencore’s environmental impact assessment for the project is due by February.

The plans have enraged farming and environmental groups across the State – they have said that they will fight the plans “all the way to the High Court” if it they are approved by the government.

Mr Katter said he opposed the proposal and could not believe it was seriously being considered.

He said Glencore’s claim that the project was a means of “testing the idea” was laughable and the claim that refusal of its plans would send “a very bad signal” sounded like blackmail[1].

“Glencore is not a good corporate citizen and do not have Queensland’s best interests at heart – on one hand they are shutting down what is a still very viable, major copper operation in Mount Isa with thousands of jobs to go while at the same time seeking to pump thousands of tonnes of CO2 into the GAB and making billions of dollars of profits from our coal,” he said.

“Maybe what they’re trying to achieve and what Queensland is trying to achieve, particularly regarding the critical minerals sector, are two very different things.

“I’d like the new Premier and his Environment Minister to seriously consider the contradictory priorities here and ask themselves if Glencore deserves to mine anything in our State.

“The Queensland Government needs to tell Glencore to take its environmental experiments elsewhere, and maybe get out of Queensland altogether – I’m sure they can find something to do in the Congo.

“Risking the health and future of precious natural assets like the GAB to keep happy a multinational company which has demonstrated that it does not care about the interests of Queenslanders is not an option.”

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