The Palaszczuk Government’s public endorsement of Arrow Energy’s destructive Surat Gas Project is an insult to farmers and communities battling to grow food and fodder for Queenslanders, according to Lock the Gate Alliance.
The government has released a statement, gushing over the PetroChina and Shell joint venture, that will further pockmark the fertile plains of the Western Downs and threaten underground water relied on by farmers.
Lock the Gate Queensland spokesperson Vicki Perrin said the unconventional gas industry had already wreaked havoc across the Western Downs.
She said the Palaszczuk Government’s attempt to tie the destructive project to the Covid-19 crisis reeked of political spin.
“At a time when the world is oversupplied with gas, there is no reason to put Queensland’s precious agricultural lands and groundwater at further risk,” she said.
“The existing industry is already draining water bores on the Western Downs, and this project will only multiply farmers’ woes.
“Make no mistake, this temporary, destructive project poses a significant risk to the long term food security of Queensland.
“In particular, this project will damage the extremely valuable agricultural area around Cecil Plains, where farmers have resisted Arrow tooth and nail since at least 2010 in order to protect their food growing capability.
“This is why we need urgent changes to Queensland’s Regional Planning Interests Act, so vitally important food growing regions can be permanently protected from dangerous projects like unconventional gas exploitation.”
Last year, the Underground water impact report (UWIR) for the Surat Basin revealed that more than 100 farming bores had been drained due to CSG, with more than 500 bores expected to be impacted in the coming years as the industry expanded.