The state government has awarded a licence to allow a gas processing plant to be built near Wandoan as part of energy company Jemena's $140 million Atlas gas pipeline project.
Jemena plans to build the facility, which will process gas from Senex Energy's Project Atlas, on land about 20km to the west of Wandoan.
It will be the first domestic-only gas processing plant in Queensland.
Under the company's plan, gas from Senex’s wells would be compressed at the 40 terajoule a day processing plant and transported via pipeline to the Wallumbilla Gas Hub to be distributed.
Natural Resources, Mines and Energy minister Anthony Lynham said gas was expected to be flowing to Australian businesses by the end of the year.
“While other states close their doors, Queensland continues to rise to the challenge of bringing energy and feedstock to our manufacturers to maintain jobs," he said.
But Wallumbilla grazier Lee McNicholl, who is the chairman of the Basin Sustainability Alliance, said Bureau of Meteorology records "clearly show most locations across the Surat Basin have become significantly hotter and drier since 1990".
"Any short-sighted politician that endorses the expansion of the fundamentally unsustainable CSG industry which is based on "unlimited water take" from the Great Artesian Basin, is culpably undermining the long term viability of any form of agriculture that relies on underground water," he said.
"It is bad enough that Dr Lynham is prepared to deplete the Surat Basin’s priceless underground water reserves but it is beyond the pale that he should gratuitously encourage other more responsible states to trash their water reserves to encourage a fossil fuel industry.
"He should take note that even Royal Dutch Shell is now calling for a carbon tax."
A Jemena spokesman said the company was currently in talks with all relevant land owners.
"A range of options for access to land have been explored as part of negotiations with land owners – these options accord with the relevant Queensland Statutory process/requirements," he said.
Western Downs Regional Council mayor Paul McVeigh said the licence was great news for the region.
"The partnership between the resource industry and landholders is a great way to secure an income in these tough, dry conditions — it really will benefit the entire community," he said.
"This project reinforces that the Western Downs is the energy capital of Queensland and we're well on our way to becoming the energy capital of Australia."
Community information sessions will be held from late February to early March in Wandoan and surrounding towns.
Jemena has already awarded construction company Valmec a $22 million contract to build its processing plant.