Indigenous, environmental, agricultural and local government stakeholders call for better Lake Eyre Basin consultation

Media release
13 January 2020

Indigenous, environmental, agricultural and local government stakeholders call for better Lake Eyre Basin consultation.

A powerful partnership of stakeholders has joined forces to seek more time and better consultation from the Queensland Government on potential changes to laws which could affect waterways and land use in the iconic Lake Eyre Basin.

The diverse group representing many of the major stakeholders in the region has united in response to the Government’s announcement on 20 December 2019 of consultation to amend the Regional Planning Interests Act, without providing meaningful detail on what amendments are proposed.

Leaders from AgForce, Desert Channels, the Lake Eyre Basin Traditional Owners’ Alliance, OBE Organic, the Western Rivers Alliance, and Remote Area Planning and Development Board of Western Queensland (RAPAD) have written to the Premier and relevant Ministers seeking two critical actions from the government.

First, an extension of the consultation process. The current deadline of 24 January 2020 is near impossible to meet taking into account the Christmas-New Year period, the vast distances needed to be covered for meaningful consultation, and the absence of detail from the Government on proposed changes.

Second, the Government support a genuine multi-stakeholder discussion – which could be facilitated by RAPAD – as a transparent and effective way of negotiating appropriate legislation for the region which achieves a balance between cultural, environmental and economic interests. The discussion needs to include all key stakeholders: local governments, Traditional Owners, agricultural and resource industry representatives, local Natural Resource Management groups, and conservation groups.

The rapid formation of a diversity of stakeholders into the Lake Eyre Basin partnership provides a unique and powerful group for constructive consultation, and underlines the importance of the Lake Eyre Basin.

Members of the group consider themselves partners in the consultation process and share a common desire to foster optimal outcomes for the communities and environment of the Lake Eyre Basin.

The Lake Eyre Basin partnership believes the best outcomes will be achieved if local government, environmentalists, traditional owners and industry work together to provide guidance and feedback on the government’s proposed changes to the Act.

Queensland’s section of the Lake Eyre Basin is a place of extraordinary beauty, covering 509,933 square kilometres (an area about the size of France) and home to thousands of Queenslanders working across a range of industries

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Who we are 

The Western Rivers Alliance is a long-standing informal alliance between individual graziers, Traditional Owners, conservation organisations and scientists advocating for the protection of rivers and floodplains of the Channel Country. Media contact: Gina Baker, 0432 399 128.

RAPAD (Remote Area Planning and Development Board of Western Queensland) is a regional development organisation and regional organisation of the seven local governments of Central Western Queensland which aims to foster, facilitate and promote the sustainable growth and development of our region.  Media contact: Nicole Bond, Media Manager, 0417 199 369.

OBE Organic is Australia’s oldest organic beef marketing company. Established and owned by family farmers in Australia’s Lake Eyre Basin, one of the world’s great inland river systems, it exports organic grass fed beef to rapidly growing markets worldwide. Media contact: Dalene Wray, Managing Director, 0439 224 968.

The Lake Eyre Basin Traditional Owners Alliance is an alliance of 13 Traditional Owner groups from across the Lake Eyre Basin. Our aim is to have a strong voice in the decision making processes within the Lake Eyre Basin regarding the landscape and waterways. Media contact: George Gorringe, 0455 751 337.

Desert Channels Queensland is a community-based natural resource management body that works to ensure a sustainable social, economic and environmental future for the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin. Media contact: Leanne Kohler, CEO, (07) 4658 0600.

AgForce is the peak body representing Queensland beef, sheep and wool, and grain producers. A unifying voice for Queensland’s broadacre producers since 1999, our purpose is to advance sustainable agribusiness. Media contact: David Vogler 0418 914 102