National Farmers' Federation

The NFF opposes proposal to inject coal waste into farm water supply

The National Farmers’ Federation is joining a growing chorus of peak agricultural organisations to oppose mining giant Glencore’s proposal to inject coal mine waste into Australia’s biggest underground water source.

The carbon capture and storage proposal before the Queensland Government involves a trial injection of liquefied carbon dioxide waste from the Millmerran Power Station into the Precipice aquifer.

NFF President David Jochinke called on the Queensland Government to reject this proposal to ensure the Great Artesian Basin was protected. 

“By injecting coal mine waste into this vital water source, it puts food production at serious risk. 

“Once you pollute the Basin with toxic waste from a coal mine, there’s no going back from that.” 

The NFF supports the growing number of voices, including Farmers for Climate Action, AgForce, Australian Lot feeders’ Association, Queensland Farmers Federation and the Murweh Shire Council Mayor who say the Great Artesian Basin should be provided the same protections as the Great Barrier Reef. 

Furthermore, a hydrologist had advised the corrosive nature of the carbon dioxide fluid injected into the Precipice aquifer would cause a 10,000-fold increase in groundwater acidity, dissolve the aquifer rock and cause the leaching of heavy metals, including lead and arsenic. 

“This is in a region renowned for producing safe, high quality beef,” Mr Jochinke said. 

“We simply cannot risk the health of the Basin or the health of this important source of farming water.  “The Queensland Government needs to listen to the experts and say no to injecting coal mine waste into the Great Artesian Basin.”