Katter calls out Nationals for Great Artesian Basin Carbon dumping approval

Mar 11, 2024

KATTER’S Australian Party MP Bob Katter says he will not let governments get away with “criminal irresponsibility” by allowing a foreign mining corporation to dump carbon waste in the Great Artesian Basin.

Glencore was given approval by the former Federal LNP Government to inject carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power station into one of the basin’s aquifers, as part of a carbon capture trial. 

The controversial plan which threatens the quality of water, used by many inland Australian towns for drinking and farmers for grazing cattle and growing produce has been heavily attacked by major agricultural groups National Farmers Federation and AgForce, as well as Katter’s Australian Party.

Unfortunately it has not been met by the same level of  scrutiny by the major political parties.

Mr Katter said he supported all concerns that if allowed to proceed, this trial would create a precent for carbon polluters to dump their waste in the “precious” basin, while earning themselves tax-payer funded carbon credits, and destroying the inland agricultural industries that rely upon the underground water.

“But then again, the National Party with their deregulation have already destroyed all our sugar, tobacco, eggs, diary with their national competition ideology,” Mr Katter said of the political party which approved Glencore’s application.

“It’s about time the farmers stopped their ridiculous relationship with the National Party. I mean, one the greatest greens advocates in this country is Littleproud, and one of the greatest free marketeers in this country, is Littleproud.

“The National Party also gave import permits to bananas, and it was the Liberal Party, John Howard, that overruled that decision.”

Acknowledging the current Labor Federal Government had also not acted on Glencore’s permit, Mr Katter said he would be holding discussions with the Federal Environment Minister to overturn the decision.

“We want assurances from this government that it will not act in criminal irresponsibility. If there is anything sacred in this country – it is our underground waters supply – the Great Artesian Basin – when a significant portion the surface area of Australia is desert.

Further, Mr Katter said he wasn’t surprised by Glencore’s self-minded proposal, labelling the mining giant as a “foreign-trading company.”

“They’re not a mining company, that’s when you dig the resource out of the ground. They’re a trading company – that’s when you sit on a resource and trade it,” he said of the company’s decision to close down its Mount Isa copper operations.

“They have been allowed to own extensive copper reserves while refusing to mine them.

“Since the great Theodore Governments, and the great Bjelke-Petersen Governments, for over 100 years in this state, you used it or you lost it. That has been the law.

“Now this contemptable government in Queensland – there is an unpleasant odour coming off the relationship between the government, the Australian Workers Union and Glencore. Their coal-mining rights have been excessive, why have they been given a dream run in coal mining, when the governments are supposed to be closing down coal mining.”