Great Artesian Basin protected as carbon capture and storage rejected

Queensland’s peak environment group has welcomed the state government’s rejection of a controversial carbon capture and storage project, which would have seen waste product from a coal-fired power plant injected into the Great Artesian Basin.

The plan from Glencore subsidiary CTSCo faced strong opposition from farmers and conservationists, including peak bodies Queensland Farmers Federation, AgForce and Queensland Conservation Council.

Queensland Conservation Council Director Dave Copeman said:

We strongly welcome the rejection of this project, which would have put Queensland’s precious water resources and food production at unacceptable risk.

This project was never about reducing emissions. It was nothing but a hugely irresponsible PR stunt by one of Australia’s worst polluters, putting the Great Artesian Basin at risk in the process.

This victory belongs to the local community, with farmers, graziers, and environmentalists all working together to stop this threat to the Great Artesian Basin.

The Great Artesian Basin is one of the largest underground water systems in the world, supporting significant First Nations cultural values, our food system and groundwater dependent ecosystems. Its environmental value is protected under Queensland law.

Carbon Capture and Storage is a con. This so-called technology hasn’t significantly reduced emissions anywhere in the world, and this project wouldn’t have either. 

Multinational corporation Glencore wanted to poison the Great Artesian Basin with waste from a coal-fired power plant, just in order to potentially reduce Queensland’s emissions by 0.1%. If Glencore is serious about reducing Queensland’s emissions, they need to urgently reduce their astronomical emissions of super-pollutant methane.

Glencore must be honest about the extent of their methane pollution by upgrading monitoring, reporting and verification to international best practice. Rather than invest in dodgy CCS, Glencore should invest in technologies and practices that limit methane pollution, fix leaks, and address the ecological aftermath of mining.

Glencore’s super-emitting Hail Creek Open Cut mine must be closed rather than expanded into precious Koala habitat, including a just transition of affected communities to a sustainable local economy.