Startling new evidence demonstrating how existing oil and gas projects are damaging floodplains in the Lake Eyre Basin proves the Queensland Palaszczuk Government must put an end to the industry’s expansion in the fragile region, says Lock the Gate Alliance.
Media has reported that existing oil and gas industry wells, well pads, roads and storages are already affecting vital water flows in the floodplains, and has highlighted the risk of chemical spills associated with proliferating numbers of gas wells in the region.
The disturbing revelations follow the recent release of an economic report commissioned by Lock the Gate Alliance which showed the business and climate risks posed by allowing new gas projects in the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin were equally grim.
The latest revelations add to growing pressure on the QLD Palaszczuk Government to stick to promises made over successive election cycles to protect the LEB and its rivers by banning oil and gas on the floodplains.
The reports also come hot on the heels of Origin Energy’s decision to quit the basin. It remains unclear whether Origin will relinquish its 250,000 ha tenements that cover the floodplains, or sell them on to another fracking company.
Lock the Gate Alliance Queensland spokesperson Ellie Smith said the arguments against opening up new oil and gasfields in the Lake Eyre Basin continued to mount.
“This new report’s shocking revelations that more than 1000km of roads and 831 gas pads have already been constructed across Lake Eyre Basin floodplains highlight the need for greater protections,” she said.
“The time is ripe for the Palaszczuk Government to step in and ban all new oil and gas on the Channel Country rivers and floodplains of the Lake Eyre Basin.
“Failure to do so now would be to ignore glaring scientific and economic evidence, clearly showing how foolish it is to sacrifice this unique and precious part of our state.
“So much of Queensland has already been lost to the greed of oil and gas companies. If we are to draw a line in the sand anywhere, then there are few better places to start than the Lake Eyre Basin, home to the last free-flowing desert rivers in the world.”