The Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development (the Committee) provides advice to the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Water on research priorities considered useful to address critical gaps in scientific understanding.
The Committee also provides advice on research projects commissioned by the Australian Government linked to water impacts of coal seam gas and large coal mining developments. The research is expected to:
- assist better decision making, regulation, natural resource management and industry practice
- build knowledge about the highest risks to freshwater resources, land and ecosystems, and
- help provide data and knowledge that can support bioregional assessments in priority areas.
The overarching goal of the research agenda is to increase the scientific evidence that underpins decisions about coal seam gas projects and large coal mining development, enabling decisions to be based on the most rigorous science available.
In January 2012, an interim Committee was established in advance of legislation being passed by Parliament. Over the six months from January to July 2012, the interim Committee considered a number of research themes and key priorities and the Australian Government commissioned 31 initial knowledge projects and literature searches. These commenced in 2012. The projects are designed to tackle critical gaps in scientific understanding about the potential water-related impacts of coal seam gas and/or large coal mining development and will be made publicly available.
The statutory Committee is currently identifying possible future research priorities. To assist in the development of the research priorities, the Committee hosted a high-level, scientific research workshop at Old Parliament House in Canberra on 19 March 2013. Participants were drawn from academia, government, industry and the community, with a mix of expertise and experience in geology, hydrology, hydrogeology and ecology, as well as a geographic coverage. The purpose of the workshop was to assist the Committee in identifying possible research priorities and strategic national knowledge projects relevant to water-related impacts of coal seam gas and large coal mining developments.
If you would like further information or wish to provide comment on the Committee's research priorities please contact us.
Australian Government's Research Program
Projects identified by the interim Committee and commissioned by the Australian Government have been arranged in thematic groupings:
- Aquifers - taking into account both aquifer contamination and aquifer integrity
- Aquatic health - including co-produced water
- Chemicals: human and environmental health
- Groundwater and surface water processes (and ecosystems)
The Australian Government's research program is closely related to the bioregional assessment program. For more information about the Committee's advice on the Australian Government's bioregional assessment program see: Advice on Bioregional Assessments.Back to top