A 10,000 signature strong petition - the majority Queenslanders - demanding the Palaszczuk Government ban new gas projects on the fragile and pristine floodplains of the Lake Eyre Basin was presented at Parliament House this morning (February 22).
Despite repeated election promises to protect Lake Eyre Basin floodplains, the Palaszczuk Government has instead given petroleum companies authority to survey for gas across hundreds of thousands of hectares in the region.
The government has undertaken numerous rounds of consultation with Traditional Owners, local landholders, and other stakeholders, but has repeatedly delayed making a decision.
Gas opponents fear this is because the oil and gas lobby has influenced the government into backtracking on its earlier election promises.
Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland Coordinator Ellie Smith said, “While the Palaszczuk Government dawdles, the Resources Department is waving through exploration applications from gas companies covering some of the most precious parts of the Lake Eyre Basin.
“We estimate more than 800 thousand hectares of Lake Eyre Basin floodplains are now covered in gas tenements.
“The further these applications progress, the harder it will be for the government to claw them back. Queenslanders need decisive action now. We can’t wait another election cycle for more hollow promises.
“Queensland’s Lake Eyre Basin is home to some of the last free flowing desert rivers in the world. As scientific research has shown, the construction of gas infrastructure on these floodplains interrupts the flow of life-giving water during floods, starving the channels and rendering the landscape lifeless.
“This will be the legacy of the Palaszczuk Government in Far Western Queensland if it fails to act and protect these floodplains from new gas mining.”
The petition was delivered to the Director General of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.