Aquifer Update

Mulgrave Landcare – Mulgrave Aquifer

Mulgrave Aquifer Update

In late 2010, the Cairns Regional Council agreed to a public meeting regarding the Mulgrave Aquifer water supply Scheme which has been under consideration since 2005.

At that meeting, and with your help, the Council were left in no doubt as to the concern of the community over the possible risk of damage to our Mulgrave water system. As a result they did undertake to:

  • Postpone their application for the necessary Development Permit from DERM.
  • Collect more data on the groundwater and surface-water systems.
  • Form a “Community Reference Panel” (CRP).
  • Commission an independent review of the computer modelling that is the basis of the investigation.

The CRP is up & running & consists of 8 members, one each from Mulgrave Landcare, Canegrowers-Cairns, Aloomba Fishery-Falls Progress Assoc, Traditional Owners, Mulgrave Mill, Gordonvale Chamber of Commerce and two independent community members. These representatives invite you to contribute comment through them at any time. The CRP has met with Council twice this year and will meet monthly for 5 or so months. Through this forum

  • Council has assured us that the development permit application has been postponed at least until about June


  • The panel has received GHD’s most recent reports which include new data from 2010 (a very wet, unrepresentative dry-season), but crucially, the availability of the most recent modelling report that is the focus of the independent review is delayed.
  • Panel members have met the appointed independent reviewer, Dr. Noel Merrick.


  • The panel has ensured that there is clear understanding between Council, Dr. Merrick and panel members regarding the ‘Terms of Reference’ for the independent review.

Though there are definitely some lumpy bits in all of this, our focus now is on getting the ‘best & fairest’ consideration from the independent review.

Thanks again for your very enthusiastic and timely support at last year’s public meeting.

If you wish to assist us with this issue, simply write to the Cairns Post outlining your concerns over this proposal. Contact us (4056 1205 or mulgravelandcare@yahoo.com.au), if you need more information, or look for the Mulgrave aquifer page on this website.