Cap on mountain groundwater take extended

Minister for Regional Development and Manufacturing and Minister for Water The Honourable Glenn Butcher

The ban on new commercial groundwater bores being drilled on Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook has been extended beyond its original March 5 expiry by the Palaszczuk Government.

Minister for Water Glenn Butcher said extending the moratorium on new bores would allow the government to continue working with local councils, the community and scientific experts to investigate groundwater resources for the Scenic Rim and Gold Coast hinterland.

“We take our responsibility as steward of our State’s water resources extremely seriously, and we appreciate that local residents are concerned about the sustainability of groundwater resources at Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook,” Mr Butcher said.

“Since the moratorium commenced on 6 March 2020, my department has been working alongside Scenic Rim Regional Council, Gold Coast City Council, Seqwater and QUT to obtain data on current water use.

“Together with new science and continued stakeholder engagement, this data will increase transparency and inform an evidence-based approach to moving forward and managing any risk to these groundwater resources.”

Minister Butcher said the government has also been working with the Australian Beverages Council on the importance of making information about their operations publicly available.

“I’m pleased to see the recent publication of the Australian Beverages Council’s online interactive map providing volumes of water extracted for commercial purposes in regions across the State,” he said.

“Having this information publicly available for anyone to access helps build transparency, accountability and community confidence in the industry’s operations.”

The moratorium notice prohibits the construction of any new groundwater bores on Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook. The moratorium provides exemptions for households, farming and town supply.

The information gathered will help inform the Minister’s reports on the effectiveness of the existing Logan Basin and Gold Coast water plans, due later this year.

BACKGROUND

Research conducted by QUT shows the aquifers beneath Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook are strongly reliant on rainfall for water recharge.

Severe drought conditions have recently prevailed across many parts of Queensland and groundwater levels in connected aquifers are impacted by below average aquifer recharge.

Any decision to prohibit water bottling facilities is a decision for a local government. Groundwater in Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook is not regulated and an entitlement to take water is not required.

Planning approvals (assessed by the local government) are required for the construction of bores or pumps to take groundwater or surface water.

To view the moratorium notice or check if it covers your property, visit www.dnrme.qld.gov.au and search ‘Tamborine moratorium’.

[https://www.dnrme.qld.gov.au/land-water/initiatives/tamborine-mountain-and-springbrook-groundwater]

To view publicly available commercial water extraction data by the Australian Beverage Council visit https://www.australianbeverages.org/beverages/queensland-water-extraction-map/.

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