NEW State Member for Callide, Colin Boyce, has pledged to help stop a carbon dioxide capture and storage project at Wandoan inviting Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan to visit the area on Monday.
Carbon Transport and Storage Company (CTSCo), a subsidary company of Glencore, plan to trial injecting large amounts of carbon dioxide into the Precipice aquifer of the Great Artesian Basin in the coming years with local producers fearing it will compromise the major water source.
Securing water in local acquifers is even more important given the new Great Artesian Basin water plan only offers a limited amount.
Two years ago, Glencore was supplied federal government funding to undertake a feasibility study into the baseline science of the project and are due to report back to the government with a detailed proposal.
If the studies satisfy authorities, a trial project will begin where thousands of tonnes of liquid CO2 would be injected into the property west of Wandoan.
Mr Boyce and Mr Canavan met with university scientists and locals during their visit to Wandoan to gain a better understanding of the project.
Mr Boyce said with the company due to make an environmental proposal at the end of 2018 when they will also be seeking more funding, it was important for Mr Canavan to gain as much information from the ground as possible.
“Matt has given us commitment to make sure that our water isn’t compromised in anyway,” he said.
“Whilst at this point in time we are only gathering the science and collating the data, I believe that common sense will prevail and this project will possibly go away to be explored elsewhere in old gas fields or old oil wells and so forth.
“The Great Artesian Basin is the largest water storage system in the world and on the Earth’s driest habitual continent why would we compromise that water. It doesn't make sense.”
He said by injecting CO2 into the water it would become carbonic acid lowering the Ph and had the possibility of rendering the water useless.
Scientists in Iceland found carbon dioxide could be stored safely if it was injected into hot basalt rock deep underground so it would react and turn to rock.
Mr Canavan said the government wanted to lower carbon emissions and carbon footprint but they wouldn’t do so in a way that would put the local industry at risk.
“My message to Glencore is a simple one, they have got to get these guys on side,” he said.
“We are not going to have a situation proceed that puts fear or anxiety at the hearts or minds of those that live off this country.
“Federal government has funded some feasibility studies into this but we haven't made any decisions on the actual re-injection of carbon emissions, the actual project, so the ball will be in there court to respond to some of the concerns that have been raised.”
The Queensland Country Life submitted questions to CTSCo about the project but they failed to respond.