Major Bowen Basin gas project hit with Land Court appeal

Environmentalists have lodged a Land Court appeal against Blue Energy’s Bowen Basin gas project.

Aug 14, 2023, updated Aug 14, 2023
Blue Energy's central Queensland project has been hit with a Land Court claim.

Blue Energy's central Queensland project has been hit with a Land Court claim.

Environmental Advocacy in Central Queensland has started the legal action to overturn the State Government’s approval on the basis that it was a threat to koalas and threatened species and the Government was not able to properly assess its impact because the company’s supporting evidence “was wholly inadequate”.

Blue has a gas reserve in the Bowen Basin 71 petajoules (2P) and 298PJ (3P) and there is currently a feasibility study being done by the State Government on a potential pipeline to connect the field to the east coast market.

It has previously said it was on cattle country where there were also plans for large-scale coal mines and it would have a low environmental impact. Over its productive life, there would be about 530 gas wells.

Enva-CQ, which classifies itself as a grassroots environmental group, said the project would potentially drain several freshwater aquifers, but Blue has said there was no link to the Great Artesian Basin.

The group has claimed that Blue would build about 700kms of roads and pipeline that would fragment bushland and degrade wildlife habitat. Over the life of the project, it would directly and indirectly emit at least 5 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, which was equivalent to more than a year’s emissions from 1 million petrol-powered passenger vehicles.

Enva-CQ director Coral Rowston said her group had been frustrated with Queensland’s poor assessment process for coal and gas projects and Blue Energy’s project was an example of this.

“It was a project approved with no detail about the significant environmental impacts it will cause,” Rowston said.

“We have concerns that the groundwater modelling was inadequate and that there is not enough information to determine the real impacts on the local landholders (who) rely on their bores for water supply or the Lake Elphinstone nationally-important wetland.”

She said Blue applied for environmental approval for three areas but only did a wildlife survey on one, which had the least vegetation.

Blue Energy has been asked for comment.




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