Over the past year QFF and our members, alongside a wide range of concerned community, industry and environmental stakeholders, have sounded the alarm on a proposal from Glencore subsidiary Carbon Transport and Storage Corporation Pty Ltd (CTSCo) to inject liquified carbon dioxide into a useable water resource aquifer in the Great Artesian Basin (GAB).
This unprecedented proposal represents a significant threat to the 180,000 people, 7,600 businesses, 120 towns and bioregions reliant on the GAB and puts at risk an environmental water producing asset that is the envy of the rest of the world.
University of Queensland modelling contained within the project’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) has shown that upon CO2 injection, groundwater acidity will increase 10,000-fold – mobilising heavy metals including lead, arsenic, and cadmium among others, to levels unsafe for both human and animal consumption.
Glencore has been granted an extension until the end of March to provide further information to their EIS which will likely see a decision handed down in around May 2024. The EIS process has seen 70 properly made and 13 late submissions lodged and significant push back from community, industry and environmental representatives all concerned that a project proposal like this had even been able to get to EIS stage.
In recent months there have been public calls to scrap the project from interstate peak agricultural and farming bodies in New South Wales and South Australia, who are also appalled at the possibility of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects expanding into the GAB in their states should this project receive the greenlight.
QFF CEO Jo Sheppard and members Canegrowers, Cotton Australia, and Queensland Fruit & Vegetable Growers, recently met with the Queensland Premier Steven Miles and his team, reaffirming the agricultural sector’s concerns and firm stance against any CCS project in the GAB.
The final decision on this proposal will have national ramifications for generations to come. It is essential that the Queensland Government makes the right call on this landmark decision – to reject Glencore’s proposal and prevent any further exploration permits for CCS in the GAB and then move to protect the GAB for generations to come.