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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland
    The Honourable Craig Wallace


    Minister for Natural Resources and Water and Minister Assisting the Premier in North Queensland
    The Honourable Craig Wallace

    Thursday, May 10, 2007


    Queensland Water Minister Craig Wallace today announced that the drilling of new water bores will be banned from today in Toowoomba and parts of Brisbane.

    Mr Wallace said the ban would protect groundwater aquifers being used to supplement urban water supplies, or which could be used in the near future.

    The moratoriums under Section 26 of the Water Act 2000 apply to bores used for domestic and commercial/industrial purposes.

    “We are acting from today to protect precious groundwater resources,” Mr Wallace said.

    “Further development of bores in both Toowoomba and Brisbane could pose a risk to those supplies,” he said.

    The ban means new bores cannot be started and existing bores cannot be enlarged, deepened or changed.

    Bores in the process of being drilled can be completed as long as the contract to construct the bore was entered into before the ban commenced.

    The Brisbane ban will apply to borefields across a large area of south Brisbane, from Capalaba in the east to Wacol in the west, where aquifers exist.

    The Toowoomba ban will apply to the basalt aquifer system underlying the city.


    Mr Wallace said the moratorium in Brisbane aimed to protect the Brisbane Aquifer Project, a joint Brisbane City Council and Queensland Water Commission project to supplement water supplies with 20 megalitres a day from groundwater.

    Significant borefields have been identified in suburbs including Sunnybank, Calamvale/Algester, Runcorn/Eight Mile Plains and ForestLake.

    The extra 20ML a day is expected to be provided by the end of the year.

    Today’s moratorium builds on the moratorium for the Moreton Water Resource Plan which ended in March.


    The moratorium on new bores applies to the Main Range Volcanics (Basalt) Aquifer System.

    Mr Wallace said the aquifer system within ToowoombaCity was not large and was vulnerable after extended periods of little or no recharging. The last major recharge was 11 years ago.

    Currently Toowoomba City Council is increasing its take from the aquifer system as a result of falling dam levels due to drought.

    At the same time the number of domestic and commercial/industrial bores being drilled across the city is accelerating.

    Mr Wallace said anyone breaching the ban faced a maximum penalty of $124,875.

    He said the government was considering other measures to control water use by owners of existing bores, including making them subject to the same water restrictions as the rest of the community.

    The drilling of stock and domestic bores on properties that do not have a reticulated water supply is still permitted.

    Public notices about the bans will be printed in newspapers in the coming days.

    Details also are available on the Department of Natural Resources and Water’s website on

    Media inquiries: Paul Childs, Craig Wallace’s office, on 0407 131 654.