Qld Govt puts a lid on mountain water

Published Thursday, 05 March, 2020 at 05:09 PM

Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
The Honourable Dr Anthony Lynham

No new groundwater bores can be sunk on Mount Tamborine and Springbrook for at least a year – except for farmers and households – under a Palaszczuk Government plan.

Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham today announced a 12-month moratorium from Friday on new bores, while expert investigations continue into the Gold Coast hinterland's groundwater resources.

“I appreciate that local residents have concerns about the impact of commercial bottling on groundwater resources at Tamborine and Springbrook,” he said.

“Good decisions are made on the facts, and we need more facts about how much groundwater is being used, and by whom, to get a clearer picture,” he said.

“A key part of that will be asking all water users to tell us how much water they currently use.

“This moratorium will prevent any new developments while the State works with the local councils and the community to identify the best way to manage the areas’ water.”

Dr Lynham said the moratorium also “cleared the decks” for ongoing research.

“The State Government is investing up to another $25,000 into further research and also seeking the community’s views on water use,” he said.

“This will provide the latest, up-to-date evidence to inform decision-making.

Under the moratorium, local businesses, including farmers - will need to report their water use. Drop-in sessions are scheduled later this month at the Springbrook Community Hall and the Vonda Youngman Community Centre at Tamborine to help develop a practical, simple reporting process.

The moratorium on new bores provides exemptions for households, farming, and town supply to ensure residents and farmers can access the water they need.

The information gathered during the moratorium will inform the Minister’s reports on the existing Logan Basin and Gold Coast water plans, required by mid-next year. These existing water plans stretch from as far south as Natural Bridge to as far north as Wynnum.


The most recent QUT research from 2011 shows that groundwater extraction at Tamborine is equivalent to less than five per cent of average annual groundwater recharge, that is, water going into the system.

Of that five per cent, farmers use almost 84 per cent for horticulture, households almost 11 per cent, and bottled water operations, about five per cent. 

Visit dnrme.qld.gov.au for more details, including details of community drop-in sessions.


Media contact: Jan Martin - 0439 341 314