Griffith University’s Australian Rivers Institute Director, Professor Stuart Bunn wrote the following opinion piece for The Conversation.

The millennium drought has broken in the south, but that hasn’t diminished interest in developing the seemingly vast water resources of northern Australia.

The recent announcement of a multi-million dollar study, looking at whether the southern Gulf of Carpentaria is suitable for more intensive agricultural development, signals that some in government and industry believe this is indeed achievable. There is clearly a compelling need to support the aspirations for enterprise development in this region, particularly among Indigenous communities.

This development may provide a significant opportunity. Ecosystems in the Southern Gulf rely on its water flows. However, the key question is whether such development can deliver economic and social benefits without degrading the ecosystem processes that sustain the region’s considerable natural and cultural assets.

For this reason, it is pleasing to learn that the Queensland and Federal Government have commissioned a significant research program to investigate the suitability of these systems for agricultural development. However, it is disappointing that the focus is only on development. There is apparently little attention given to potential environmental, social and cultural implications.

To read this article visit

pic of sunset on mangroves looks like Naps