26 September 2023

Feedback invited on Lake Eyre Basin

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The Department of Environment and Science is seeking community feedback on options to better protect the Queensland section of the Lake Eyre Basin.

The options are also to recognise First Nations peoples’ connection to the region and support sustainable economic development.

Options being considered include more comprehensively identifying watercourses, floodplains and hydrological special features; retaining the existing regulatory framework to manage current resource extraction, and adapting the framework to provide greater certainty for future resource activities.

Also under review is an amendment of existing regimes to not allow certain future activities, particularly unconventional oil and gas extraction on the rivers, flood plains and main watercourses.

Minister for the Environment, Leanne Linard said the Basin comes to life following rain, with water birds like pelicans and stilts arriving in their thousands to breed.

“The Lake Eyre Basin’s wetland also supports species of threatened migratory shorebirds, like the critically endangered Curlew Sandpiper,” Ms Linard said.

“Maintaining clean and uninterrupted flow of the waterways in the Basin is critical to the survival of these birds.”

She said the public consultation would seek views on protecting the globally significant river systems in the Basin, while achieving a balance between future economic prosperity for Queensland and ecological sustainability for the region.

“In collaboration with the Lake Eyre Basin Stakeholder Advisory Group, my Department has examined existing policies and legislation, reviewed the available science, and considered a range of possible approaches to develop a future long-term plan for the basin,” Ms Linard said.

“We need feedback from those who call the Basin home, from those who have a connection to its land, and from the businesses and industries that operate there.”

She said the process must ensure all voices, particularly those of Traditional Owners representing present and future generations, were heard.

Feedback closes on 25 August and more information on the protection of Lake Eyre Basin streams and watercourses is available at this PS News link.

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