STATEMENT: Crisafulli Must Commit To Protecting Great Artesian Basin

LNP leader David Crisafulli must commit to protecting the Great Artesian Basin from future attempts to use it for carbon capture and storage following the Queensland government’s rejection of a proposed trial by coal-mining multinational Glencore.

One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson has welcomed the Queensland government’s rejection of the plan on the basis it could irreversibly change the basin’s groundwater and increase concentrations of contaminants.

 “This is a victory for the farmers and remote communities who have been campaigning hard against this proposal,” Senator Hanson said. “I’m very pleased the Queensland government has seen sense. I’m calling on LNP leader David Crisafulli to make a commitment that if his party win’s government in October, it will continue to protect the Basin.

 “We know that other companies are interested in using the Basin for carbon capture and storage and were keen on the trial proceeding. We must not allow trials or projects which have the potential to contaminate the Basin’s water, a vital resource for farmers and communities.”

Senator Hanson said the Senate inquiry into the proposed trial, which One Nation successfully moved, should continue.

 “An important issue to unpack in this inquiry is how the Federal Government effectively waived this trial through,” she said. “This is the essence of AgForce’s legal action regarding the trial. Farmers are looking for answers about why this proposal got the green light from Federal authorities, and they deserve to have their say. We must examine how Labor, Greens and Coalition commitments to net zero emissions is driving activities that could destroy critical environmental assets like the Great Artesian Basin.

 “I also want answers from the Nationals about their support for a project with such great potential to contaminate a vital source of water for Australian farmers and regional communities. Flynn MP Colin Boyce appears to have been a lone voice in the Nationals opposing the project, while Queensland senator Susan McDonald was actively lobbying local governments and others to support it. Farmers and regional communities deserve to know why the so-called party for farmers was acting against their interests.

 “I am, however, delighted the proposed trial has been rejected. One Nation will always fight to protect the Great Artesian Basin.”