Study to provide water certainty

A group of residents is currently fighting an appeal by Gillion Pty Ltd, which has been extracting water from a residential property in Power Parade, bottling it and selling it as spring water in supermarkets.
A group of residents is currently fighting an appeal by Gillion Pty Ltd, which has been extracting water from a residential property in Power Parade, bottling it and selling it as spring water in supermarkets.

It is hoped a longitudinal study into groundwater sustainability on Tamborine Mountain will provide residents with clarity about the future of their water supply.

Corporate and Community Services Committee chair Cr Virginia West said Scenic Rim Council had agreed to co-fund a three-year research project in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology (QUT).

"Preserving the region's spectacular scenery and healthy environment for future generations has been identified as a key outcome in the Scenic Rim Community Plan," she said.

"It is important that we gain an understanding of the impact on the local environment and to identify ways we may be able to manage these impacts."

Tamborine Mountain does not have a town water service, which means households and businesses rely on groundwater or rainwater to meet their needs.

Some residents have expressed fears that the high volume of water being extracted from local bores and sold for ‘non-domestic use’ is causing long-term deterioration to the water system.

A group of residents is currently fighting an appeal by Gillion Pty Ltd, which has been extracting water from a residential property in Power Parade, bottling it and selling it as spring water in supermarkets.

The case has been heard in the Planning and Environment Court since 2012, with Gillion continuing to extract water while it awaits an outcome.

If the company wins, residents claim it will be able to extract more than 23 million litres of water a year.

Mayor Greg Christensen said it was evident that the volume of water being extracted from local bores for non-domestic use was of concern to the Tamborine Mountain community.

"Council also wishes to ensure that there is no long-term deterioration in water quality in the groundwater system considering that Tamborine Mountain has neither a reticulated sewerage network or town water service,” he said.

"Although council is not responsible for groundwater management on Tamborine Mountain, which rests with the state government under legislation, we are ultimately accountable to our community and we are responding to their concern about the long-term sustainability of the Tamborine Mountain aquifer."

Cr Christensen said the state government's present position was that the current groundwater system had a low risk of failure.

"That said, we want to ensure that Tamborine Mountain's groundwater resources are managed in a sustainable manner to ensure that water supply and natural eco-systems are protected and supported," he said.

“This includes supporting this type of important research which will help to better inform future decision-making."