Water Mining in Springbrook Update

Re-application for water extraction:  The applicant for a new water mining business in Repeater Station Rd has had to reapply as water mining was deemed not to be applicable to the rural zone. He has now applied under Water Extraction and resubmitted various documents which can be accessed on Gold Coast PD Online. However it appears that there are additional hurdles for his application, despite his claim that water mining “does not involve taking or interfering with underground water etc.” Springbrook is not controlled by the Water Act despite its importance as the source for the Nerang River which flows into the Hinze Dam. The applicant has been asked by the Planning Officer for additional information and must demonstrate that the water extraction is compatible with agriculture, matters of environmental significance and the landscape character of the rural area. He is also required to demonstrate that he can protect groundwater and hydrological process and have no short or long term negative impact on the dam and groundwater dependent ecosystems. Other requests for information relate to the number and size of trucks proposed to deliver the water to the bottling company. So far there has been no response to this request.

Ministerial inquiry into the impact on a World Heritage listed site

In the meantime the whole issue of lack of regulation of water mining on Springbrook Plateau is being examined by the World Heritage Unit of the Department of Environment and Science which is also liaising with the Department of Natural Resources on the matter. A scientific study has begun of the potential impacts of cumulative water mining by several extraction businesses on the ecosystems of the World Heritage listed Springbrook National Park immediately adjacent to the bores. This study will take a considerable length of time and Gecko and other groups are calling for a moratorium on water mining until these results are available.

Actions you can Take

Write to the Minister for Environmentenvironment@ministerial.qld.gov.auand Minister for Natural Resourcesnrm@ministerial.qld.gov.au and ask for a moratorium on any further extraction of ground water on the Springbrook Plateau until sustainable levels of extraction can be determined.Watch for the date for public submissions on the new application and any others and put in your objection. Gecko and Springbrook wildlife Appreciation Group can provide you with some points.