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Jumping The Gun: Queensland Hydro's Lack of Environmental Oversight

Updated: Apr 24

The unfolding narrative around the Borumba Pumped Hydro Project, as reported by the Daily Mercury, strikes a resonant chord with the ongoing concerns we have here in Eungella with the similar Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Project. Both projects spearheaded by Queensland Hydro, they share not only similar ambitions but also similar controversies, especially regarding the preliminary works and their impacts on local ecosystems and communities.

Drilling without Due Diligence

At the heart of the local discontent in both Borumba and Eungella is the premature commencement of exploratory works. In Dalrymple Heights and Netherdale, contractors were reportedly seen drilling near streams housing platypus populations, crucial habitats that require careful consideration and protection. Allegedly, these activities occurred without comprehensive environmental studies or the supervision of environmental specialists, despite claims to the contrary.

.A flatbed truck with a drilling rig mounted on the back parked beside a serene, flowing stream, surrounded by lush greenery, highlighting the contrast between industrial activity and natural environment.
Contractors were reportedly seen drilling near streams housing platypus populations.

A Reactive Approach to Environmental Concerns

The Borumba project has been momentarily stalled, as Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek has called for a more detailed report into the project's environmental impact mitigation strategies—a report Queensland Hydro has yet to deliver. This mirrors the situation in Eungella, where the community's outcry over potential ecological damage led to the creation of the Platypus Management Plan. Unfortunately, this plan was only formulated after significant pressure from community members and did not precede the potentially harmful activities.

The Path Forward: Advocacy and Awareness

The situation with Borumba serves as a stark reminder of the importance of vigilance and advocacy. As Queensland Hydro proceeds with these large-scale projects, it is imperative that they not only seek but also heed community input and rigorously assess environmental impacts before advancing.

Send an Email to Federal Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek

We invite all concerned citizens to remain engaged, informed, and vocal. As Minister Plibersek reviews the additional information for the Borumba project, we also urge you to extend your advocacy to the Pioneer-Burdekin project. Every letter, every voice matters. To facilitate this, we've prepared a template to help you articulate your concerns to Minister Plibersek, which can be accessed here.

Together, let's ensure that Queenslands push for renewable energy does not come at the cost of the very environments we aim to protect. Let's hold Queensland Hydro accountable and ensure that our ecosystems, such as those supporting our precious platypus populations, are not just considered but prioritised in our energy future.



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