Media release

Queensland to ban new oil and gas in Lake Eyre Basin

Friday, 22 December 2023

  • Estimated reading time 4 minutes

Breaking news: Queensland to ban new oil and gas projects in Lake Eyre Basin.

BirdLife Australia welcomes today’s announcement by Queensland Premier Steven Miles, which will reinforce protections for the vital wetlands of the Channel Country within the Lake Eyre Basin.

Chris Purnell, BirdLife Australia’s Wetland Birds Program Manager, emphasised the critical significance of these wetlands for the survival of some of Australia’s most unique and threatened wetland-dependent bird species, including the Endangered Australian Painted Snipe.

“In times of flood these wetlands boom with breeding waterbirds. Herons, cormorants, pelicans and other wetland birds from across Australia will gather in the Channel Country in the tens of thousands to breed and grow their flocks. Today’s announcement of new environmental regulations, including banning future oil and gas projects, will help protect this special place and ensure our amazing waterbirds thrive,” said Purnell.

Sheena Gillman, BirdLife Southern Queensland Conservation Officer ‒ a driving force behind BirdLife Australia’s public campaign advocating for enhanced protections in the Channel Country ‒ also endorsed the announcement. She urged the Miles Government to seize this opportunity for investment in sustainable nature-based tourism.

“After years of campaigning to protect this special place, bird and nature lovers will be celebrating the Queensland Government’s announcement to remove the threat of oil and gas in the Channel Country,” said Gillman.

“Investment in sustainable tourism opportunities is the next step and will provide regional rural communities a long-term economic alternative. Birdwatchers the world over make the pilgrimage to the Lake Eyre Basin during times of flood to witness the spectacle of thousands of waterbirds congregating together.”

“We look forward to working with the Queensland Government to protect and promote this special part of Australia.”

BirdLife Australia is eager to collaborate with the Queensland Government in safeguarding and promoting this extraordinary part of Australia.

Join the movement in safeguarding Australia’s precious ecosystems. Sign our petition calling on the Commonwealth, State, and Territory governments to step up their protection of the Lake Eyre Basin.

Media contact: Sean Dooley, National Public Affairs Manager (0407 789 067)