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Great Artesian Basin Sustainability Initiative (GABSI)

GABSI is a joint program between the Australian, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australian and Northern Territory governments that provides strategic government investments in groundwater infrastructure to repair uncontrolled bores and replace bores drains with pipeline reticulation systems to ensure  the  long-term sustainability of the Great Artesian Basin.

GABSI and its predecessor programs have focused on the rehabilitation of free-flowing bores and the replacements of open bore drains with pipes. This has resulted in pressure increases and significant water savings in many areas.

To date 676 bores have been rehabilitated and 14,000 kilometers of bore drain have been replaced with piping, saving an estimated 199,000 megalitres of water every year.

In May 2015, the Queensland Government signed a project agreement confirming the state's commitment to participate in Phase Four of the GABSI program, following the Commonwealth's announcement in 2014 of a total of $15 million of new funding over three years.

With three of the 10 projects for the 2015-16 round already completed and others well under way, DNRM is now seeking expressions of interest for 2016-17.

Who can apply

Owners of legally operating bores in Queensland can make a submission for government financial assistance under GABSI.

What projects are eligible for financial assistance?

The water efficiency projects to be targeted under GABSI are:

  1. Rehabilitation of legal uncontrollable flowing bores. Landholders receive up to an 80% subsidy for rehabilitation of these bores; and / or    
  2. Piping of a legal bore drain. Landholders receive up to a 60% subsidy for bore drain replacement works    
  3. Rehabilitation of a bore previously rehabilitated under earlier programs where there has been a critical infrastructure failure.    

Important dates

Key dates around the provision of funding in 2016/17 are:

  • 31 May 2016: the Department must receive landholder submissions by this date    
  • 31 March 2017: approved project/s must be completed by this date for landholders to receive the government funding    
  • 30 June 2017: GABSI Phase 4 funding will cease.    

How to apply

The GABSI client guidelines (PDF, 13.4MB) specify the requirements for participating in the program. Note: this file is larger than 2 MB and should be saved to your computer rather than viewed in your browser.

Landholders can also make enquiries prior to the preparation of a submission, by telephone: (07) 4529 1355; or email:

Landholder submissions for government financial assistance under GABSI are to be posted to:

DNRM – GABSI Submissions
PO Box 318
Toowoomba  QLD  4350

Additional submission requirements:

  • submissions are to be made on a per bore basis.  
  • submissions can only have one applicant. All parties watered by the bore, must approve the applicant to act on their behalf.  

Upon receipt of a properly made submission the Department will write to the applicant confirming successful lodgement of the submission.

The Queensland and Australian Governments will assess applications against the assessment criteria outlined in the Project Agreement (RTF).


Landholders whose applications are approved will be required to enter in to contracts with the Queensland Government.

The following sample works agreements are provided as an indication. Actual agreements may vary.


Landholders who have completed works on their approved projects can seek a government disbursement via one of the following forms;

Forms are to be lodged to the email or postal address detailed above.


Last updated: 27 January 2017

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines is an economic development agency that enables the productive and responsible use of our natural resources – water, land, mineral and energy resources – to generate wealth and prosperity for current and future generations of Queenslanders.

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