A southeast Queensland mayor has taken a stand against companies sucking out precious water supplies from beneath the rainforest.
Tom Tate says the council’s planning committee has refused an application to extract groundwater at Springbrook, a hinterland region surrounded by national park.
The Gold Coast mayor on Wednesday said the groundwater eventually flowed into drinking water reservoirs and it was “not on” for companies to extract it to sell for uses which included sale as bottled water.
He said a committee had refused a development application for extraction at Springbrook ahead of a full council meeting on Friday.
It comes about two months after Cr Tate wrote to Queensland Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham asking the government to clarify its position on water mining.
Questioned over the issue on Wednesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was a matter for the Gold Coast council.
“We will respect that decision,” she said.
A number of water mining operations are already underway in the Gold Coast hinterland and surrounding regions.
In a statement, Dr Lynham said previous university studies of groundwater in the nearby Tamborine Mountain area had indicated taking groundwater presented only a low risk to the surrounding environment.
A new study will be carried out at Springbrook when external funding is approved, he added.
“I strongly urge concerned members of the community to raise this issue with their local councillor,” Dr Lynham said.