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Newman wants to frack Lake Eyre rivers

Monday, 25 November 2013 - 2:15pm Wild River protections to be scrapped across western and northern Queensland. Channel Country rivers protection being removed to please Santos.

Draft Cape York Regional Plan does not guarantee rivers protections.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is determined to greenlight fracking on the flood plains of the Channel Country rivers that feed into Lake Eyre.

The Newman Government has today commenced the scrapping of river protection across northern and western Queensland by issuing notices to revoke the Wild Rivers protection for seven Channel Country and Cape York rivers.

Revoking the Wild Rivers protection for Cooper Creek and the Diamantina and Georgina Rivers in the Channel Country will allow Santos to use fracking to develop new gas fields close to the waterways that feed Lake Eyre.

“Premier Newman appears determined to allow Santos and other companies to frack on the flood plains of the Channel Country rivers that feed Lake Eyre, rivers made famous by Burke and Wills,” said Wilderness Society Queensland Campaign Manager Dr Tim Seelig.

“Santos’ fracking plans threaten one of the greatest natural events on the planet: the transformation of the parched inland and Lake Eyre’s salt plains into a wildlife wonderland.

Its fracking plans also threaten the Channel Country’s $500 million grazing industry and its 350 jobs.

It may also pose a risk to the Great Artesian Basin.

“The Queensland Government will also be revoking the Wild Rivers protection of the Wenlock, Stewart, Archer and Lockhart rivers on Cape York.

The protection of Cape York’s rivers is not guaranteed despite the fanfare created by Newman in promising to protect the Steve Irwin Nature Reserve and the Wenlock River.

“The Cape York regional plan is only a draft.

It recognises that open-cut and strip mining are incredibly destructive but Premier Newman must act to guarantee the protection of Cape York’s free flowing wild rivers and outstanding landscapes.

“Campbell Newman must prove he is serious about protecting the last few remaining pristine rivers on the planet and not just interested in photo opportunities.”

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