Chinese company is given the green light to run a water mining operation in drought-ravaged Queensland – while desperate residents in nearby towns are forced to take 90-second showers
- Chinese company granted go-ahead to run commercial water extraction facility
- Decision comes despite nearby residents suffering through severe drought
- Those in Stanthorpe about 40km away just weeks from running out of water
- Residents living near the site in southern Queensland have hit out at decision
- Those in Stanthorpe and nearby Warwick limited to just 80 litres of water daily
A Chinese company has been granted the go-ahead to run a commercial water extraction facility in a drought-ravaged region in country Australia despite nearby residents being limited to just 80 litres of water each a day.
Those living in Queensland’s Southern Downs are under critical water restrictions – with the town of Stanthorpe just weeks away from running out of drinking water.
But last week the Southern Downs Regional Council approved the development of the mining operation about 40km away at Cherrabah on the border with New South Wales.
A Chinese company has been granted the go-ahead to run a commercial water extraction facility in a drought-ravaged region of southern Queensland (the parched Storm King Dam is pictured near Stanthorpe in the area in October)
A day later those living in Stanthorpe and Warwick to the north saw their water restrictions cut to 80 litres per person (pictured water restrictions in October at a slightly higher level of 100 litres per person)
In a cruel twist, those living in Stanthorpe and Warwick to the north saw their water restrictions cut to 80 litres per person just one day after the water mining approval.
That number is more than four times less than the average water consumption for an individual in Australia of 340 litres a day, according to Riverina Water.
The council has told its ratepayers the 80-litre restriction translates to no more than 90 seconds of shower time using a non-water efficient shower head.
Those living near the site set to be mined by Joyful View, which is owned by two Chinese investors, hit out at the council decision given the region’s dwindling supplies.
‘I don’t understand how it is allowed to happen,’ one resident told The Guardian.
‘If that water drains away from the shallow aquifers, it affects our long-term viability.’
The council has told its ratepayers that new restriction translates to no more than 90 seconds of shower time using a non-water efficient shower head
An aerial view of a dried up dam at Cottonvale apple orchard, outside drought-ravaged Stanthorpe. The jarring image was selected as one of the Best of the Year News images for 2019
The company plan to transport the water to a Gold Coast bottling plant, according to council documents.
The council are reportedly aware of land owners shipping water outside of the region, according to local newspaper the Southern Free Times.
But the region’s deputy mayor said they were powerless to intervene and could not regulate extraction by private companies.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Joyful View and Southern Downs Regional Council for comment.
Last month, Stanthorpe received 200,000 litres of water and 130 tonnes tonnes of hay bales in a huge emergency supply package from Australia’s Muslim community.
The delivery was organised by Muslim Aid Australia drawing on donations from thousands of individuals and companies across the country.
‘There are cattle dying, horses dying or they have to be sold because they don’t have any hay bales to eat or water to drink,’ MAA spokesman Riyaad Ally said.
Jubilant locals were seen welcoming the delivery trucks as they arrived and rushing to help unload the hay bales from trailers.
Last month, Stanthorpe received 200,000 litres of water and 130 tonnes tonnes of hay bales in a huge emergency supply package from Australia’s Muslim community