Protect the Channel Country

The Queensland government is now accepting public submissions on the future of Queensland’s Channel Country rivers and floodplains.

The Channel Country hosts some of the last remaining free-flowing desert rivers left on Earth.

They support cultural connections tens of thousands of years old, one of Australia’s largest clean green beef industries, and a budding tourism industry.

Oil and gas is threatening to compromise the rivers that sustain this unique landscape, with devastating consequences for the wildlife and people that rely on it.

In 2015 the Palaszczuk Government pledged to protect the Lake Eyre Basin’s rivers and their Channel Country floodplains. After eight years of delay, the government is finally about to make a decision on the future of these precious river systems. It’s time to deliver.

Gas giants are already on the march. The Channel Country needs you, now, to step up and demonstrate to the government that oil and gas profits aren’t worth destroying the Channel Country and the people and nature relying on it for survival.

We need to remind our government that the only way to protect the Lake Eyre Basin’s rivers and delicate floodplains is to declare these sensitive areas as complete no-go zones for new oil and gas.

Join local graziers, Traditional Owners and local communities in their fight to protect the Channel Country rivers and floodplains.

This is no place for gasfields!

Want to send your own personalised submission? Use our handy letter-writing tool and add your own story about why the Channel Country is special to you.

To: Lake Eyre Basin Consultation, Department of Environment and Science, (CC: Minister for the Environment Leanne Linard, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk)
From: [your name]

Thank you for the opportunity to make a submission on the Queensland Lake Eyre Basin Consultation Regulatory Impact Statement.

I support the Traditional Owners, pastoralists, and local communities who are calling for the Queensland Government to honour their election commitment to protect the Lake Eyre Basin rivers and Channel Country floodplains by prohibiting new oil and gas mining in these sensitive areas.

The Channel Country is one of Queensland’s – and the world’s – most iconic natural and cultural landscapes. These rivers are some of the last free flowing desert rivers on Earth. The wetlands and water holes support an abundance of significant birdlife and other wildlife, while the floodplains provide rich natural pastures for a thriving grazing industry and spectacular vistas supporting a growing tourism industry. The rich and ongoing cultural connection First Nations peoples have to these waterways is invaluable and should not be compromised. The rivers and floodplains of the Channel Country are no place for oil and gas fields.

Roads built to support this industrial activity are already impacting flood flow regimes and the increasing risk of contamination within this globally significant river system is simply unacceptable.

I urge you to clearly exclude future oil and gas activities from the rivers and floodplain areas. This is best reflected in Regulatory Option 4, “Not allow any future oil and gas activities in the regulatory mapped floodplains and rivers.”

To safeguard this globally significant river system for future generations, all major waterways, wetlands, floodplains, and springs must be provided with the same level of protection. This is best reflected in Spatial Option 3 – which provides the greatest area of protection.

I support the Queensland Government working more closely with the Lake Eyre Basin Traditional Owners Alliance and improving formal recognition, engagement, and consultation on matters of Country and Cultural Heritage. The Lake Eyre Basin is rich in natural and cultural heritage Traditional Owners must be supported to protect and manage their country and water.

I support sustainable economic development in the Lake Eyre Basin. However, I urge the Queensland Government to invest in economic futures that take care of, and not threaten to destroy, the incredible natural and cultural assets.

The Queensland Government must create a global and enduring legacy by delivering protections that make it clear this is no place for oil and gas.