Pastoralists, Traditional Owners, scientists, and conservation groups align to support stronger Lake Eyre Basin River protection as Queensland Government releases long-awaited draft options for consultation
OBE Organic, Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation, and the Western Rivers Alliance has welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s release of a consultation paper which outlines options for meeting their election commitment to strengthen protection for the Lake Eyre Basin’s rivers and Channel Country floodplains from inappropriate oil and gas developments.
Josh Gorringe, Traditional Owner and General Manager of the Mithaka Aboriginal Corporation said:
“We’re very happy to see the consultation document released as a step along the way to the Queensland government fulfilling their election promise to protect the rivers and floodplains from gas fracking.
“The Channel Country is so important to the Mithaka people because of the song lines and cultural sites in its waterways and floodplains.
“The Channel Country is the last of the free-flowing desert rivers in the world, which means it is also important to all Australians.
“As Traditional Owners, we’ve been fighting for protections for the rivers and floodplains for over thirty years.”
“We also want to see the local pastoral industry protected because it’s an important source of work and income for Traditional Owners, including our young people. Gas fracking puts the pastoral industry at risk” said Mr Gorringe.
David Brook OAM is a pastoralist from Birdsville in Queensland’s Channel Country who owns organic cattle stations in both the Queensland and South Australian sections of the Lake Eyre Basin. David is a co-founder of OBE Organic, Australia’s first exporter of organic beef.
“It is the long-held desire of local pastoralists, Traditional Owners, townspeople and conservationists, to see the very best protection of the floodplains of the Channel Country rivers which flow into Lake Eyre.
“We look forward to the Palaszczuk Government in Queensland, acting on their election commitment so that the significant waterways and floodplains will not be subject to unwise resource development which might impede or contaminate the annual flows.
“This region now supports the largest acreage of land in the world that is certified for organic meat production.” said Mr Brook.
More information on OBE Organic’s position on Lake Eyre Basin river and floodplain protection can be found here.
The Western Rivers Alliance is an alliance of Channel Country pastoralists, Traditional Owners conservation organisations and scientists working together to strengthen protection for the free-flowing rivers of the Lake Eyre Basin and their Channel Country floodplains. Riley Rocco, Coordinator for the Western Rivers Alliance, said:
“We will be making sure the Palaszczuk Government hears loud and clear the voices of the Traditional Owners, the local pastoralists and the scientists who are standing together with one clear message – the rivers and floodplains of the Lake Eyre Basin are no place for oil and gas fields.”
“We know that the destruction of these globally significant wetlands and rivers is not something that Queenslanders want – we encourage people to let the Queensland Government know that allowing new oil and gas mining on top of the rivers and floodplains is simply unacceptable”.
“The Palaszczuk Government has promised at every election to protect this globally significant river system. Delivering on this commitment will show the world that Queensland is a leader in protecting our natural and cultural heritage for future generations.