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.

OPINION: We really are a nation of welfare bludgers

Centrelink

Eight out of 10 cents from taxpayer going to fund welfare

Man repeatedly struck with baseball bat during robbery

Police are investigating a violent robbery at a Loganlea store.

One of the men put the man in a headlock

Man killed after van bursts into flames in crash

Two cars were involved in the crash

Local Partners

Buderim dad rejects gay son's emotional plea for second time

Bride and Prejudice: Son’s emotional plea rejected again by unmoved father

What's on the big screen this week

Ewan McGregor and Jonny Lee Miller in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

This week's new releases offer plenty of variety for movie buffs.

REVIEW: Under the Gun doco looks at right to bear arms

ARMED: A still from the 2016 documentary film Under the Gun by Stephanie Soechtig.

An in-depth look into America's gun culture.

Hodges proud to be part of first channel dedicated to NRL

Justin Hodges is gearing up for his new gig on Fox League.

Footy star hopes to provide a voice for players on new NRL channel

Furious Price wants to quit I'm a Celeb after clash with Keira

Steve Price has threatened to quit the jungle.

Will camp ration clash with Keira cause Steve to call it quits?

Novel with lots of heart

The romance in A Quiet Kind of Thunder was only one of the joys of the book.

Book proves to be a gem with layers

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

$140k damage: landlord says property trashed, contaminated

He had what he calls "the tenants from hell"

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!