Local Governments Demand Federal Government Immediately Stop Coal Mine Injecting its Waste Product into Queensland’s Water Supply
The 2023 National General Assembly of Local Government (NGA) has called on the Australian Government to immediately stop a subsidiary of coal-mining giant Glencore from injecting its waste carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from Millmerran Power Station into the Great Artesian Basin (GAB), Australia’s largest groundwater basin and water source for millions of Australians.
The current three-year trial being undertaken by Glencore’s Carbon Transport and Storage Corporation (CTSCo) aims to demonstrate the effective permanent storage of liquified CO2 in geological structures — in this case, an underground freshwater reserve that could fill Sydney Harbour 130,000 times — but local communities across the Basin’s gigantic footprint – it sits beneath 77% of Qld — are calling the trial unnecessary and fraught with potentially dire consequences.
The Mayor of Western Queensland’s Murweh Shire, Shaun (Zoro) Radnedge was forthright about the trial. “It’s madness,” said Mayor Radnedge recently at The 2023 Australian Council of Local Government (ACLG) in Canberra. “Most of Queensland depends upon this basin, one way or another, and we’re letting a coal mine pump its waste into our water,” said Mayor Radnedge.
The Mayor questioned where the liquid CO2 would end up, reflecting concerns of scientists familiar with the research who questioned the modeling of Glencore’s predictions in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). “It’s a liquid, so it moves like a liquid,” said Mayor Radnedge. “So over time, the 110,000 tonnes of liquid they plan to inject into the great Atresian basin will move around and quite possibly escape from one of the other 35,000 bores, defeating the purpose of the whole expensive exercise.”
Mayor Radnedge made it clear that CO2, while harmless, was not inert and could change the chemistry of the water when liquified, affecting crops and livestock. “For farmers, this could have serious consequences, which could have consequences for our whole State. It’s just not worth the risk.”