The Australian Government plays an important role in protecting our environment from potential impacts of development activity, with a focus on matters of national environmental significance. In the case of development activity related to large coal mines and the extraction of coal seam gas, this includes potential impacts on water resources.
The Commonwealth regulatory regime works in concert with state and territory governments, which have primary responsibility for water resources and regulating environmental impacts associated with the resources sector.
The Australian Government’s approach to regulating coal seam gas extraction and coal mining is risk-based and deals with uncertainty through adaptive management. Specialist officers monitor approved projects to ensure that conditions are complied with — non-compliance is treated seriously and significant penalties can be applied.
The best available science informs the Commonwealth’s approach at every step along the way.
Information on coal seam gas production, coal mining and potential impacts on water resources
Coal and coal seam gas – water trigger projects
This project list includes:
- all projects referred to the Commonwealth under the water trigger, including those that have been referred recently for which the IESC have not yet provided advice, and
- projects referred prior to the introduction of the water trigger for which IESC advice was sought from the Commonwealth and/or state regulators .
- List of projects
Office of Water Science
The Office of Water Science is leading the Australian Government’s efforts to improve our understanding of the water-related impacts of coal seam gas and large coal mining development.
The Australian Government protects water resources from the impacts of coal and coal seam gas development through the ‘water trigger’ provisions of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).
Science and research
The best available science informs the Australian Government’s approach to managing the environmental impacts of coal and coal seam gas development.
Case studies, fact sheets, research reports, websites