New National Mapping: 37% of Australia Earmarked for Coal and Gas as Federal Water4Life Campaign Launches

Published: May 11, 2016

New national mapping of mining tenements across Australia released today reveals that 37.3% of the Australian continent is covered by coal and gas titles and applications. That amounts to 285 million hectares of land – an area 13 times the size of Great Britain.

The mapping was released today as part of the launch of Lock the Gate Alliance’s national campaign – Water4Life – which is putting the impact of coal and unconventional gas mining on water resources at the centre of the organisation’s Federal election push.

As part of the campaign, Lock the Gate is asking politicians and political parties to commit to:

  1. Protect nationally important water resources
  2. Support the ‘dining boom’, and
  3. Ensure the health of people and communities.

The new mapping includes the first ever national interactive map of coal and gas titles, which allows people to determine whether their home, their local water source or their favourite holiday destination is earmarked for future coal or gas mining or exploration.

“This new mapping confirms that vast areas of Australia are in the firing line from dangerous unconventional coal and gas mining” said Phil Laird, National Coordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance.

“At risk are nationally significant water resources, such as:

  1. The drinking water catchment for Sydney
  2. The recharge waters of the international tourist icon Mataranka Hot Springs (NT)
  3. The Yarragadee aquifer of south-west WA, groundwater resource for Perth
  4. The magnificent desert rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin in south-west Qld
  5. The Mereenie Sandstone aquifer which provides the water supply for Alice Springs
  6. The vast water source of the Great Artesian Basin across Qld, NSW and South Australia

“We want to see these precious water resources protected in no-go zones for coal and gas mining and the Federal water trigger strengthened and applied to shale and tight gas fracking.

“It’s also crucial that agricultural protection is given more standing at a Federal level, with new laws that implement the National Food Plan and measures to ensure coal and gas mining is not allowed to put our food security at risk.

“It’s also time that people and communities were put ahead of multinational mining giants, with the creation of a national Environment Protection Authority to prevent dangerous pollution from coal and gas mining causing negative health impacts” he said.

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