13 February 2024. Michael Guerin, AgForce CEO.

AgForce has squared up against mining giant Glencore by preparing and underwriting legal action on an issue far too important to leave to chance.

As primary producers understand all too well, water is critical to life itself. Yet in a breathtaking proposal, Glencore (through its subsidiary CTSCo) is proposing putting one of the largest and most pristine water sources in the world at risk. 

The core of Glencore’s proposal involves pumping industrial waste into an aquifer that is part of the Great Artesian Basin, a huge body of water stretching across four Australian States and Territories and relied on by many in our vast country.

That the idea was even conceived beggars belief, but that it is most of the way through the approvals process is staggering and simply unacceptable.

Communities are angry, frustrated and deeply concerned.  That’s why we have taken such strong action to underwrite and lead legal proceedings.

It’s hard to imagine the support would be the same if Glencore proposed pumping industrial waste into Sydney Harbour or the Great Barrier Reef.  Yet, here we are very close to Glencore having all the approvals it needs to do exactly that to the Great Artesian Basin.  Words fail me.   

And let there be no doubt, one of our greatest concerns about this proposed ‘pilot’ by Glencore is that it is not reversible.  If it damages our ancient and reliable water source in the way we expect - it proves what is already abundantly clear to AgForce - you cannot simply reverse the process.  We will have dirty emissions from a coal fired power station circulating forever in our Great Artesian Basin, without remedy.

Minister Plibersek, this is a cry for help before it is too late.  Please heed our call and protect one of our most precious water resources.