Queensland Land Court Water License Appeal
Qld Land Court WA114-113
The application to divert the Creek was advertised and submissions were made by the public.
However, the State Government approved the diversion in December 2012. Consequently an application, for a member of the public, was made to the State Government in January 2013 to review the decision to divert the Creek and this resulted in a change to the conditions of approval.
The review allows the member of the public to appeal the decision to divert the Creek and the Land Court of Queensland will hear the appeal in January 2014.
The appeal asks the Court to set aside the decision to divert Coral Creek because the computer modelling provided to the State Government about the diversion is unreliable.
The expert says the steps for a reliable model have not been taken and the information included in the model is not good enough to predict the measurements the model is designed to predict (such as speed of water, erosion potential, the power of the water to transport sediment and the impacts of large floods).
The expert concludes the diversion (designed using the unacceptable modelling) and the natural parts of Coral Creek upstream and downstream of the diversion will experience accelerated erosion and deposition rates, likely to result in instability of the stream and unintended consequences that last for decades or more.
The expert also says the mining industry funded research, used by the State Government to decide applications to divert creeks for coal mining, is based on poor modelling and has resulted in underestimations of measurements of speed of water and erosion potential used for diversion designs in the Bowen Basin and previous diversions that have resulted in enhanced sedimentation and erosion.