Report finds Great Artesian Basin worth $12.8 billion in economic importance

Beef Central, 22/08/2016

Cattle on a bore on Brunette Downs on the Barkly Tableland


THE Federal Government has released a report examining the economic value generated by Great Artesian Basin water resources, finding that water from the Basin underpins at least $12.8 billion in economic activity annually across Australia.

The report, commissioned by the Australian Government and GAB jurisdictions based on advice from the Great Artesian Basin Coordinating Committee, was prepared by Frontier Economics and looked at the economic activity of industries reliant on Great Artesian Basin water resources.

The report’s estimate of economic value of at least $12.8 billion each year includes $4.7 billion in value generated from livestock production, with over 14 million beef cattle for meat production and over 11 million sheep and lambs in GAB regions – largely dependent on artesian water.

In addition, the value of irrigated agriculture that uses GAB water is estimated to be greater than $60 million.

Looking forward, the report identifies new or increased water demand from new or expanding industries as a key challenge in effective long-term management of the GAB water resources.

The report will be used to inform the development of a new Great Artesian Basin Strategic Management Plan to help guide the future management of this vital resource.

The report will also be a useful information resource to support the development of policies and programs, and infrastructure investment, to support better management of Australia’s water resources, the Government says.

  • The full report is available on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website, click here to access.


Source: Australian Government




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  1. aileen harrison, 24/08/2016

    If New Hope Acland stage 3 open cut coal mine is approved it has been predicted in their EIS that there will be a 47 metre drop in bores with in 21 km radius all around the mine site. It has been proven by experts that there will many bores will dry up.

  2. Jennie Dell, 24/08/2016

    I truly hope that a new management plan will consider the GAB’s vulnerability to the effects of unconventional mining (fracking) on the Darling Downs and in the vast areas where CSG mining is proposed.
    Not only do these mining activities use billions of litres of water, measurably lowering the water table; they also awaken and release a raft of carcinogenic materials, with the danger of these emissions escaping into aquifers and the GAB itself.
    Once poisoned, that precious water will support no life, no industry, no farming.
    Sinkholes will open up. Earthquakes may happen. The threats are real and many.
    Ban fracking now!
    City and country, United we stand
    Protect our water, protect our land.

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