OPINION: World Water Day highlights sustainability problems

WORLD Water Day yesterday should give us pause for thought here on the driest continent on earth.

But here in Queensland, preferenceis still given to mining and coal seam gas enterprises - which have limited life - to the long-term need to save our precious water resources and the most productive agricultural land.

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Presently farming communities have  no protection of the most productive agricultural land from urban and infrastructure development, mining and coal seam gas projects.

This land will be lost forever, as will the farmers, at a time when such land should become even more precious. Sustainability has taken a back seat.

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Queensland's rush to approve unconventional gas projects like coal seam gas and underground coal gasification is presenting the State with some serious challenges. 

Two vital resources of this country - agricultural soils and water - are threatened and there is an alarming lack of knowledge among regulators of what the impacts are likely to be and how they can be satisfactorily mitigated.

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Agricultural Chemist Dr John Standley OAM reminds us that at The World Congress of Soil Science in Brisbane in 2010 Julian Cribb and Dr Colin Chartres focused on the increasing loss of agricultural land and of fresh water and aquifer supplies around the world at a time when the population continues to expand.

Australia's food production should become ever more important for both our requirements and a source of income from exports.

We must retain our most productive agricultural land and fresh water supplies for future generations of Australians and provide certainty  for farming and rural communities.

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