Tamborine and Springbrook water moratorium extended

09 March 2023

The moratorium protecting the Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook groundwater systems has been extended for another 12 months, until 2024.

The Minister for Water Glenn Butcher extended the moratorium to enable the department to continue gathering data and information about the way that groundwater is used in the area and to allow the department further opportunities to engage with key stakeholders on the information gathered so far.

Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Executive Director South Region Hamish Butler said researchers were still looking for water users to share information about their usage.

The department has been collecting information from commercial water users since 2020 and hopes to continue building a more complete picture of the demands on this groundwater.

“Water use information provided by commercial operators, such as nurseries and small businesses, is valuable in helping to improve our understanding of groundwater use and needs in Tamborine Mountain and Springbrook,” Mr Butler said.

Report your water use data.

Following the extension of the moratorium, meetings will be held with key stakeholders, community representative groups, researchers and local councils to discuss water security issues.

The moratorium, which has been in place since 2020 and is reviewed annually, stops any new commercial groundwater bores being drilled in the area.

“QUT scientists have been gathering data over the past few years to help everyone make informed decisions about the best ways to manage these important groundwater resources,” Mr Butler said.

Communities on Tamborine Mountain and in the Springbrook area do not have access to reticulated town water supply so rely on rainwater for drinking, and groundwater for other uses. The moratorium was introduced following a period of low rainfall in March 2020, to protect the groundwater reserves these communities rely on.

“We want to make sure there is enough water for the communities and, crucially, the environment, including the World Heritage-listed Springbrook National Park,” Mr Butler said.

Exemptions to the moratorium include bores for stock and domestic use, to ensure people are able to meet basic needs.

The Department has been working with the Gold Coast City Council, Scenic Rim Regional Council, industry, and QUT to study this groundwater system. The department is looking forward to receiving QUTs final report on this work. The QUT monitoring program on Tamborine Mountain has been extended for another year and the Springbrook study, which has recently started, will be completed in late 2024.

Last updated: 09 Mar 2023