A COMPANY that for nine years has been pumping truckloads of water out of a bore near Toowoomba and transporting it to Brisbane finally has council approval.
Toowoomba Regional Council today approved a 75-megalitre a year spring water extraction enterprise at Ravensbourne.
Despite operating since 2006, the owner had no approval from local authorities.
It is understood Crows Nest Shire Council had told the business owner that no such approval was necessary.
Yesterday, councillors were greeted outside City Hall by a protest led by residents who live near the development.
Their concerns centred on the impacts the operation would have on underground water reserves, but Cr Chris Tait said council could not consider that in its decision.
"That is not council's call," he said.
"That is the jurisdiction of the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.
"Council made its decision on what was within its authority to do so and took advice from the department on matters relevant to the department's control."
Council will, however, request that the State Government tightens groundwater management requirements in the Ravensbourne area.
"The fractured basalts in the Ravensbourne area recharge very quickly after any major rain event, but residents have concerns that the resource will run out during the dry periods," Cr Tait said
Councillors against the development claimed it was not suitable for the area.
Cr Sue Englart was angered by road works and land clearing that would take place to accommodate trucks transporting water.
"We're degrading the land we love," she said.
The application was approved in a vote of 7-3 with a condition that the applicant places a meter on the bore and report to council every six months.
To limit truck movements, a maximum of 75ML of water a year can be taken from the bore.
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