More land opened for gas exploration

Lobbyists call out government "failure"

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Since 2015, the Palaszczuk Government has released more than 39,000sq km of land for gas exploration.

Since 2015, the Palaszczuk Government has released more than 39,000sq km of land for gas exploration.

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The state government has announced that 30,000 square kilometres of land will be opened for gas exploration.

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The state government has announced that 30,000 square kilometres of new land will be opened for gas exploration.

One of the state's largest ever releases, the land parcels near Roma, Longreach and Mount Isa are spread across six basins - Bowen, Surat, Galilee, Adavale, Eromanga and Millungera.

Energy Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said more than 30 per cent has been earmarked for domestic supply.

"More gas from more fields is the only long-term way to deal with affordable domestic gas supply," Dr Lynham said.

"This latest land release further opens up under-explored Adavale, Galilee and Millungera basins.

"Business and industry - particularly our manufacturers - needs more affordable gas to fuel jobs and there's one surefire way to do that - produce more gas."

Since 2015, the Palaszczuk Government has released more than 39,000sq km of land for gas exploration, and this latest announcement has been met with criticism from farmers and lobby groups.

Lock the Gate Alliance spokesperson Carmel Flint said the most recent Surat Basin Underground Water Impact Report showed a total of 574 bores would eventually be drained due to CSG mining, if allowed to continue expanding at its current rate.

"With this new land release for CSG, the scale of this damage will only increase," she said.

"The Queensland Government has failed to respond to this dire warning, and it seems farmers and communities will bear the brunt of this failure.

"Agricultural water users are now facing restrictions on groundwater use due to drought, but CSG groundwater use is effectively a permanent use, that cannot be increased or decreased in response to conditions, which means more pressure on farmers."

Six successful ventures have won the right to explore a total of 3450 square kilometres.

Six successful ventures have won the right to explore a total of 3450 square kilometres.

Chinchilla landholder Glen Beasley said the threat to farmers was not just the depletion of underground aquifers, but also the biosecurity issues posed by toxic waste produced by the CSG industry.

"My property is currently under threat because the CSG industry wants to dump 15 million tonnes of its toxic waste at the headwaters of a nearby creek which forms part of the Murray Darling Basin catchment," Mr Beasley said.

"At a time when the state government is asking primary producers to take on added responsibility dealing with the increasing risks posed to agriculture from biosecurity risks, it is fostering an enormous biosecurity risk itself y encouraging this industry.

"There is a huge, unresolved risk to ground and surface water due to how the CSG industry disposes of its contaminated waste.

"This is not just a local threat - it has serious implications for primary industry right down the already beggared Murray Darling system."

The new successful tenderers will need to negotiate land access agreements and fulfil any existing environmental and Native Title requirements before the exploration authority is granted and work can begin.

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