The Channel Country is an iconic part of the Queensland Outback.
Situated in Western Queensland, the Channel Country is one of the most extraordinary and beautiful landscapes in Australia. It has a rich and diverse history, ranging from its indigenous cultures to its pastoral heritage.
The natural beauty of the region has inspired some of our most iconic novels, artworks and songs, including Banjo Paterson’s Waltzing Matilda - Australia’s unofficial anthem.
The Channel Country’s rivers, the Georgina and Diamantina Rivers and Cooper Creek, are among the last free-flowing desert rivers in the world.
Tropical rains that fall to the south of Mt Isa enter these rivers, winding their way slowly south to fill the vast wetlands of the Channel Country, attracting breeding waterbirds from all over Australia who fly there to feed and breed.
Along the way, the waters fill floodplains of native pastures, sustaining Australia’s largest organic beef properties.
In 2011 the rivers, wetlands and floodplains of the Channel Country were protected from destructive activities such as large-scale irrigation and mining. This ensured that some of the world’s last free-flowing inland rivers and richest floodplain pastures were safeguarded for generations to come.
But in 2014, the Newman Government cut back those protections, exposing the Channel Country’s rivers and floodplains to fracking - drilling for shale gas.
The current Palaszczuk Government made a promise to Queenslanders to restore those protections, but this has not yet happened.
The gas fracking industry could have a devastating impact on the fertile floodplains and rivers of the Channel Country. Every drilling rig will need a road, a pipeline and perhaps even a wastewater storage pond.
This will result in an industrialised landscape - threatening the nature, water, people and organic pastures the Channel Country is known for.