Landholder contributions to the GABSI
Review & recommendations
Landholder contributions to the GABSI Centre for International Economics and Resource Policy & Management, July 2003
About the publication
For over 100 years, large numbers of bores drilled into the Great Artesian Basin (GAB or the Basin) have been free flowing into bore drains, some of which flow for up to 100 kilometres. Artesian bore pressures have declined causing concern among governments and landholders. In some land types, bore drains are a source of significant land degradation.
Over the past decade, the relevant governments have focussed more seriously on the problems of free flowing bores and declining bore pressures. Incentive programs have provided considerable government subsidies to the costs of bore capping and piping. In Queensland, the focus of this report, government subsidies amount to 80 per cent of the cost of bore rehabilitation and capping and 60 per cent of the cost of replacing bore drains with pipes. Under the Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI), government funds are shared equally between the Queensland and Australian governments. New South Wales and South Australia have slightly different levels of government subsidy.
This report examines the issue of landholder contributions to bore capping and piping in Queensland. By way of background, the existing state of play regarding funding in the various states, and selection criteria for projects in Queensland is described. A policy framework is then developed together with a set of principles underpinning funding contributions. The effectiveness of current and past assistance rates in encouraging bore owner participation in capping and piping is then assessed. Based on survey results, the economic profitability of bore capping and piping, from a landholder perspective is evaluated and constraints to participation, including financial, social, attitudinal, economic or physical constraints, are assessed.
Drawing on experiences in other states, and the assessments made, recommendations are then presented on appropriate landholder contributions. The issues of rates varying over time and between geographical regions is considered.