News

Groundwater mining companies access worth $100m: report

A report has estimated the value of groundwater to mining companies in the Galilee Basin.
A report has estimated the value of groundwater to mining companies in the Galilee Basin. Daily Mercury Archives

A REPORT estimates hidden subsidies from the Queensland Government to the coal mining industry, in the form of the value of groundwater accessed for free, represent at least $100 million in value for the Galilee Basin coal mines alone.

"This analysis reveals that the mining industry reaps a huge financial benefit from accessing public groundwater resources effectively for free," The Australia Institute research director and report author Rod Campbell said.

"Our analysis indicates that the value of groundwater that will be provided to the Galilee Basin coal mines for free, if they are all constructed, would be worth approximately $100 million.

"Our analysis is based on the economic value of groundwater used by coal industry economics consultants and expert assessments of the total volume of groundwater that will be intercepted by the Galilee Basin coal mines.

"If large volumes of a public resource are being granted to private enterprises through a veiled subsidy that is not made transparent to the public, at the very least the community has a right to expect strong regulatory controls on use of that resource.

Mr Campbell said in Queensland the Government is instead moving to weaken regulation of groundwater.

"Just last week, the Minister for Mines and Natural Resources moved unilaterally to declare the Carmichael coal mine as a 'prescribed project' and 'critical infrastructure' which will allow the water licensing process to be fast-tracked and could limit opportunities to interrogate the impacts of the mine on groundwater," he said.

"Queensland's coal industry already receives great financial assistance from the Queensland community through government funded infrastructure, favourable tax treatment and unfunded environmental damage.

"As the world seeks to decarbonise the economy, the Queensland Government should be moving to wind back subsidies of this nature and should be increasing protection of groundwater resources, not weakening them."

A Department of Natural Resources and Mines spokesperson said "all water users accessing groundwater, regardless of whether it is used for farming and irrigation purposes or to support a mining development, must obtain a water licence and adhere to the same fees and charges."

Topics:  groundwater industry mining report


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Chinchilla woman tells of 'life changing' trip to Cambodia

BRIGHTER FUTURE: The Community School of Hope is a small school based in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Mellissa Johnston is on a mission to help Cambodia's children.

Monster melon takes out Big Melon Weigh-In

(L-R) Hydie, Bec, Kyron and Drew Sturgess of Sturgess Farming with their Big Melon Weigh-In winning melon, which pipped the scales at 75kg.

Monster melon takes out competition

'A Slice of Chinchilla' steals the show at Melon Art Comp

Chinchilla artist Dion Cross won the spatial construction category and the judge's praise at the Melon Festival Art Competition for "A Slice of Chinchilla”.

Giant watermelon has the tools to win top accolade

Local Partners

Paul Murray listens to regions

The man who can talk underwater is ready to listen and broadcast it back to the pollies.

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

Jolie may have the kids, but Pitt has custody of Hollywood

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Kids' game "full of f**king paedophiles" according to dad

A mortified dad has expressed serious concerns over an online game

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

New suburb in the crosshairs of Coast vandals

UNDER WRAPS: Graffiti on art installations at the entrance to the newly opened Bells Creek Arterial Road has been covered up.

Vandal rechristens Stockland as something less than complimentary

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!