Disclaimer – a web accessible version of Coal Seam Gas – Joint industry framework is being developed If you require an accessible format of this document, please contact the department at PA.Strategies@environment.gov.au
About this document
The Coal Seam Gas – Joint industry framework (JIF) was collaboratively developed by the federal Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment and the coal seam gas (CSG) industry, with technical and regulatory advice from the Queensland Government. The JIF will better manage the cumulative impacts of CSG development on groundwater in the Surat Basin, Queensland.
The JIF will achieve clearly defined environmental outcomes for groundwater in the Surat Basin. These include:
- maintaining or enhancing groundwater discharge and environmental values at springs which are part of the listed threatened ‘community of native species dependent on the natural discharge of groundwater from the Great Artesian Basin’
- ensuring water supply bores continue to supply water
- ensuring the continuing function and environmental value of groundwater dependent ecosystems
- maintaining habitat for subterranean fauna.
The JIF sets out specific regulatory touch points to ensure that the CSG industry is achieving environmental outcomes. If the outcomes are not met, clear compliance actions, including ceasing operation in selected wells, have been put in place.
Additionally, the JIF targets those areas in the Surat Basin that are at the greatest risk of having their groundwater impacted by CSG operations.
The JIF aligns with the Queensland Government’s regulatory processes where possible to reduce regulatory duplication. Additional reporting and assurance requirements will ensure that the Australian Government appropriately oversees protection of matters, including water resources, under Australia’s national environment law.
The JIF will be put in place over the coming years by amending the federal conditions of approval on groundwater monitoring and management for all federally approved coal seam gas operations in the Surat Basin.
This consistent risk and outcomes-based approach to cumulative groundwater impact management in the Surat Basin will ensure that targeted effort by regulators and the CSG operators, will better protect the Surat Basin’s groundwater resources.