The nation’s second largest local government refuses to allow some exploration activity in the nearby hinterland region.
Gold Coast City Council (GCCC) has rejected an application submitted by Hoffmann Drilling Superannuation Fund to extract up to 16 megalitres of groundwater annually from 263 Repeater Station Road in Springbrook, 40km southwest of Surfers Paradise.
GCCC’s planning committee refused the application because the affected groundwater eventually flows into drinking water reservoirs further down the stream.
City Mayor Tom Tate said it was “not on” for companies to extract the resource from underneath a rainforest, which is surrounded by national park, and sell it as bottled water.
Environmental risk disputed
However, State Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Anthony Lynham disputes the rationale behind the decision because earlier university studies of groundwater at Tamborine Mountain found removing the groundwater would only pose a low risk to the surrounding environment. The minister hopes to conduct a newer study at Springbrook once funding has been secured.
“I strongly urge concerned members of the community to raise this issue with their local councillor,” Lynham said according to the Australian Associated Press.
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The decision does not affect other proponents who already perform water mining activity in the hinterland and surrounding regions.
The Save Springbrook Waterfalls Facebook group believes the matter has still not completely ended as a full council meeting on December 6 will reach a final decision on the application.