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Urgent Call to Action: Protecting Eungella's Pristine Environment

Updated: Oct 24, 2023

A Plea for Environmental Guardianship

In the heart of Queensland, amidst the serene landscapes of Eungella, a community raises its voice in concern. An ominous project, the Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro, threatens the ecological balance that defines this unique region. In an urgent letter to the Hon. Tanya Plibersek, Minister for the Environment and Water, the residents of Eungella call for attention and action to safeguard their pristine environment.


The Hydro Project: A $12 Billion Threat

The Queensland Government's announcement of the $12 billion Pioneer-Burdekin Pumped Hydro Project on September 28, 2022, sent shockwaves through the Eungella community. Owned by the Queensland Government, Queensland Hydro is tasked with executing this colossal venture. The residents write to Minister Plibersek, seeking refuge under section 70 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act 1999 (EPBC Act).


A bunch of Labor idiots standing around smiling about all the money they get
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in Mackay promoting the state government’s energy plan.

Environmental Impact: A Delicate Ecosystem at Risk

The Eungella region, known for its biodiversity, is under imminent threat from the hydro project. The proposed water transfer between independent reef catchment systems, namely the Burdekin River Catchment and the Pioneer River Catchment, jeopardises the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Community meetings with Queensland Hydro officials revealed potential water quality impacts on Cattle Creek, raising concerns under the EPBC Act.


Threatened Species: A Symphony of Endangered Lives

Eungella is home to unique species protected under the EPBC Act, such as the endangered Eungella Day Frog and the extinct-in-the-wild Eungella Gastric Brooding Frog. The project's footprint extends to areas inhabited by the vulnerable Koala, northern quoll, granite nightshade, and central greater glider. The residents implore Minister Plibersek to acknowledge the ecological richness at stake.


Wetlands and Migratory Species: Ramsar and International Agreements

Bowling Green Bay, a Ramsar wetland, faces potential disruption, impacting its unique coastal wetlands. The hydro project's influence extends to the Broken River, Urannah Creek, and Massey Creek Aggregation, crucial wetlands of international importance. The white-throated needletail swift and migratory eel species are also under threat, demanding scrutiny under international agreements.


Urgency and Concerns: The Need for Ministerial Intervention

Despite lacking environmental approvals, the Queensland Government allocated $270 million to Queensland Hydro for the project. Urgent geo-test drilling at Dalrymple Heights, Eungella, started on World Environment Day, raising fears of irreversible environmental damage. The residents stress the need for Minister Plibersek's intervention and impartial oversight to protect their unique environment.


Community Concern and Petitions: The Voice of Thousands

The communities’ concern for the impact on their pristine environment and threatened species is reflected by their past State Parliament Petition, which received some 5,000 signatures. This substantial support underscores the gravity of the situation and the collective plea for intervention.


Scientific Publications: Eungella's Rich Biodiversity in Print

To further emphasise the ecological significance of Eungella, the residents draw attention to two key publications:

  • Eungella-Land of the Clouds by the Queensland Museum: This publication, featuring more than 400 full-color photographs, explores the vulnerability of rainforest ecosystems and the threats posed by climatic changes, cyclones, fire, and species decline.

  • THE LAND OF CLOUDS REVISITED-The Biodiversity and Ecology of the Eungella Rainforests 2020 by The Royal Society of Queensland: This work, a result of an extensive survey of the biodiversity of the Eungella rainforests, delves into the richness of the region's flora and fauna.

A Plea for Collaboration and Protection

The Eungella community's concern is not just local but resonates globally. The delicate balance of ecosystems and the fate of unique species hang in the balance. As Minister Plibersek receives this heartfelt plea, the residents of Eungella hope for collaboration, transparency, and a commitment to protecting the land they call home. The urgency of the matter demands immediate attention to prevent irreversible damage to this ecological haven.

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