Media Releases - 29 November 2022

Breaking promises? New fossil fuel exploration approved on globally significant floodplains

New fossil fuel exploration has been approved in an environmentally sensitive wild rivers floodplain, despite repeated commitments from the Queensland government to protect Channel Country.

On 23 November 2022, an authority was granted to Pure Energy to prospect 100km northwest of Quilpie, on Boonthamarra Country, over an area of approximately 1000km².

Hannah Schuch, Queensland Campaigns Manager for the Wilderness Society, said: “It’s disgraceful that the Queensland government is approving exploration for oil and gas on the Channel Country floodplains behind the community’s back.

“This announcement comes the same week the Wilderness Society released a report into environmental community rights that shows there is little transparency and accountability to communities in environmental decision-making in Queensland.

“At every election since 2015, the Palaszczuk government has committed to protect the Channel Country rivers and floodplains. By allowing approvals on sensitive areas, the Queensland government appears to be breaking their promise to all Australians to protect the rivers and floodplains.

“The Channel Country rivers and floodplains are among the last free-flowing desert rivers on the planet. They support plants and animals found nowhere else, like the plains wanderer; are vital for cultural connections and practise; and vital also for local communities, who depend on healthy rivers for their livelihoods.

“Communities are saying no to fossil fuel developments, but when governments grant these approvals, they are backing this climate-wrecking industry over people and nature, and we’re stuck with the consequences forever.

“New oil and gas developments, including exploration, will have devastating impacts for nature, the climate and communities throughout Queensland, and in the broader Kati Thanda-Lake Eyre Basin.”

For further comment:
Please contact Hannah Schuch, Wilderness Society Queensland Campaigns Manager, on 0434796566 or [email protected]