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.

Fr Dan was a priest of the people

CELEBRATION: Fr Dan Moore at his 50 years of priesthood jubilee.

A vibrant life remembered.

Mayor responds to union criticism over DV leave

Central Highlands Mayor Kerry Hayes.

According to the Services Union, council is all talk, little action.

Coal mine takes the next step

FULL VIEW: The Olive Downs project.

A mine that will create more than 1000 jobs for CQ is a step closer.

Local Partners

HUGE OSCARS FAIL: Wrong film handed Best Picture award

IN A monumental stuff-up, La La Land was incorrectly named Best Picture. During the acceptance speech, the real winner was revealed.

Blue Heelers' Ditch Davey joins 800 Words cast

Ditch Davey joins the cast of 800 Words as Terry, the younger brother of George, played by Erik Thomson.

George Turner's brother, Terry, arrives to Weld with a 'few demons'

Oscars winners 2017: Full list of Academy Award winners

Viola Davis accepts the award for best actress in a supporting role for Fences at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

WHO won Oscars this year? Here’s a full list of every winner.

Why can’t Nicole Kidman clap properly?

Nicole Kidman's style of clapping has puzzled Oscars viewers.

FOR some reason, it seems Nicole doesn’t really know how to clap.

Muslim actor makes Oscars history

Mahershala Ali accepts the award for best actor in a supporting role for Moonlight at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

MOONLIGHT star Mahershala Ali makes Academy Award history.

NO ONE OFF LIMITS: Kimmel burns down the house at Oscars

Host Jimmy Kimmel speaks at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

HOST delivers a torrent of abuse on Hollywood’s night of nights.

Oscars guest’s shocking wardrobe malfunction

Blanca Blanco arrives for the 89th annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California, USA, 26 February 2017.

ACTRESS suffers X-rated wardrobe malfunction.

Mining homes dive: $600k homes sell for $120k-$300k

18 Yeates Street, Moranbah sold for $135,000 in December, after being repossessed by a bank. The owners bought for $545,000 in August, 2011.

The economy still has two speeds, but with a painful twist

Mackay's property market climbing like a Rocket Man

Renewed confidence in Mackay means more homes are being snapped up by those eager to plant their roots in the region.

There's movement in the real estate sector and it's all positive.

'Why we drove 800km to buy a treehouse with a disco ball'

The new owners have planned a few updates, but will stick with much of the original design.

A couple travelled almost 800km for the home of their dreams.

The trick homeowners are using to buy more properties

Chantelle Subritzky leaves her home each week for Airbnb guests.

Queenslanders are going down this path to help pay their mortgages

Stunning home blends South Pacific beauty with Orient style

Immaculate residence with two outdoor living areas

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!