News - 09 April 2024

Protect the Great Artesian Basin, reject Glencore’s carbon pollution injection pilot project

The Great Artesian Basin lies beneath the Lake Eyre Basin which is critical for wildlife.

The Wilderness Society does not support the proposed pilot project to inject liquid carbon dioxide into the Great Artesian Basin, spearheaded by Glencore’s subsidiary, The Carbon Transport and Storage Corporation (CTSCo).

The Great Artesian Basin is one of the largest underground freshwater resources in the world and lies beneath the Lake Eyre Basin. The Great Artesian Basin underlies 30% of the continent including most of Queensland, the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales.

The application of carbon dioxide injection within a usable water resource is unprecedented globally. Allowing this project to go ahead would set a disastrous precedent for the Great Artesian Basin–risking regional communities, Queensland’s precious water resources and native wildlife.

Dumping 330,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide underground poses an imminent threat of further destruction to the already vulnerable habitats of Queensland’s native species like the koala and greater glider. Additionally, it risks draining 155 million liters of groundwater to support the Millmerran coal-fired power station over the next three years.

Refusing this pilot project is crucial for nature, water and the climate.

While we experience the impacts of both biodiversity and climate crises, the Queensland government must prioritise the protection of our natural environment and investing in clean energy solutions, rather than approving projects that allow for the ongoing use of fossil fuels–risking vital water resources, habitat and regional communities.

Compromised water quality in the Great Artesian Basin has the potential to have devastating and widespread environmental, economic and social consequences.

Safeguarding the Great Artesian Basin is a matter of national importance, and we urge the Water Minister, Glenn Butcher and the Queensland government to protect our water supply for future generations by rejecting the CTSCo’s carbon injection project in the Great Artesian Basin.