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Basin plan to crack the nut in Central Queensland

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The Hon Keith Pitt MP, Minister for Resources and Water, Member for Hinkler, and George Christensen MP, Member for Dawson, Joint Media Release, 23 September 2021

The Australian Government will turbocharge economic development and jobs across central Queensland by unlocking the gas resources in the North Bowen and Galilee basins under a new strategic basin plan released today.

North Bowen and Galilee Basins map
Source: Australian Government

Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt joined Member for Dawson George Christensen in Mackay to officially announce the North Bowen and Galilee Basin Strategic Basin Plan.

“The Plan supports industry to develop the region’s major gas resources and is the second to be delivered under the Government’s Strategic Basins Plan Program,” Minister Pitt said.

“The North Bowen and Galilee basins are estimated to hold enough gas to meet Australia’s east coast needs for over a decade. The new plan will support industry to overcome the specific challenges of developing these resources.

“The strategic plan supports the Government’s agenda for a gas-fired recovery, and will help deliver affordable gas for Australian industries and households.”

Member for Dawson George Christensen said the North Bowen and Galilee Basin Strategic Basin Plan has the potential to create thousands of jobs and grow the local economy.

“This plan is going to open up these geologically promising basins, creating up to 5,500 new jobs in Queensland by 2030,” Mr Christensen said.

“It will promote private sector confidence and bring forward investment to stimulate the economy of central and north Queensland.”

The plan includes $20.7 million of investment to unlock gas potential in the basins, and will leverage more than $400 million in research funding and critical infrastructure upgrades.

The Plan includes:

  • $15.7 million for gas field trials including innovative drilling programs to prove the region’s potential; and
  • $5 million for studies to support development of a new gas pipeline to the region, co-funded by the Queensland government.

And will benefit from initiatives including:

  • $14 million for Geoscience Australia and CSIRO to deliver better data about  baseline conditions across each of the Government’s priority strategic basin regions;
  • $13.7 million to continue research under the CSIRO’s GISERA (Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance); and
  • More than $370 million for various road upgrades to support supply chains, trade and project construction, through the Northern Australia Roads program, Roads of Strategic Importance initiative and the Regional Economic Enabling Fund

Minister Pitt said the Government is working in partnership with state and local governments, industry, communities and the University of Queensland, to unlock the potential of the basins.

The North Bowen and Galilee Strategic Basin Plan is available on the Department’s website at

The Government earlier this year released a strategic plan for the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory, and has begun work on the next strategic plan for the Cooper and Adavale basins spanning Queensland and South Australia.


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