Lake Eyre Basin-based beef company OBE Organic, the Lake Eyre Basin Traditional Owner Alliance, and key conservation groups have all supported an option proposed by the Queensland Government to ban future oil and gas developments on the rivers and floodplains of the Lake Eyre Basin.
Over 22,000 submissions from the public in support of banning oil and gas in the river and floodplain areas have also been received.
The current restrictions on large-scale irrigation, broadacre cropping and open cut mining within parts of the rivers and floodplain areas of the Lake Eyre Basin is limited to very small portions of the Queensland Lake Eyre Basin.
Pastoralists, Conservationists, Traditional Owners and 22,000 Australians are concerned that most of the floodplain and upper river catchment areas in Queensland’s Lake Eyre Basin are not protected from large-scale irrigation, open-cut mining, dams (excluding for stock and domestic use) and broadacre cropping.
David Brook OAM is a pastoralist from Birdsville in Queensland’s Channel Country who owns organic cattle stations in both the Queensland and South Australian sections of the Lake Eyre Basin. David is the co-founder of OBE Organic, Australia’s first exporter of organic beef.
“It is the long-held desire of local pastoralists, Traditional Owners, townspeople, and conservationists, to see the very best protection of the floodplains of the Channel Country rivers which flow into Lake Eyre.
“We look forward to the Palaszczuk Government in Queensland, acting on their election commitment so that the significant waterways and floodplains will not be subject to unwise resource development which might impede or contaminate the annual flows.”
“This region now supports the largest acreage of land in the world that is certified for organic meat production.” said Mr Brook.
Josh Gorringe is a Traditional Owner and General Manager of the Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation.
“We’ve been fighting for protections for the rivers and floodplains for over thirty years. It’s been wonderful to see thousands of Australians stand behind us and show their support during this public consultation.”
“Now it’s up to the Queensland Government. This is the greatest desert river system in the world. The Palaszczuk Government can either be the government that lets it be destroyed or protects it forever.”
Riley Rocco, Coordinator for the Western Rivers Alliance, said:
“We will be making sure the Palaszczuk Government hears loud and clear the voices of the Traditional Owners, the local pastoralists and the scientists who are standing together with one clear message- the rivers and floodplains of the Lake Eyre Basin are no place for oil and gas fields.”
“The Palaszczuk Government has promised at every election to protect this globally significant river system. Delivering on this commitment will show the world that Queensland is a leader in protecting our natural and cultural heritage for future generations,” concluded Riley Rocco, coordinator of the Western River Alliance.
The Western Rivers Alliance is an alliance of Channel Country pastoralists, Traditional Owners conservation organisations and scientists working together to strengthen protection for the free-flowing rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin and their Channel Country floodplains.