Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment releases consultation draft of ‘Underground Water Impact Report 2021 for the Surat Cumulative Management Area’

The Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) has released their consultation draft of the Underground Water Impact Report (UWIR) 2021 for the Surat Cumulative Management Area (Surat CMA).

The 2021 UWIR, for the first time, integrates cumulative impacts from coal mining and provides a comprehensive assessment of coal seam gas (CSG)-induced subsidence – along with its usual updates on groundwater impacts from CSG activities. The consultation draft UWIR, together with Surat CMA information videos are available via the links below.

Importantly, the 2021 UWIR contains research findings from OGIA’s comprehensive assessment of potential subsidence occurring in highly cultivated, priority agricultural areas – the first research of its kind undertaken in relation to CSG activity and a significant body of work that the GasFields Commission contributed to.

OGIA is now seeking submissions from tenure holders, bore owners and the general public. Public information sessions are scheduled for next week (8 – 12 November) in Toowoomba, Dalby, Chinchilla, Roma and Wandoan, as detailed in the Public Notice linked below. Submissions close on 26 November 2021.

Who are the GasFields Commission Queensland?

Established as an independent statutory body in 2013, the Commission’s purpose is to manage and improve the sustainable coexistence of landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry in Queensland. The Commission manages sustainable coexistence in petroleum and gas producing regions of Queensland, and will continue to do so as the industry expands into new and emerging basins.

Our vision is to achieve thriving communities in areas of gas development that are free from discord and supported by well-informed, respectful and balanced stakeholder relationships.

One way the Commission is endeavouring to realise this vision is by providing transparency and independent assurances that the onshore gas industry is appropriately regulated and held to account when needed. This in turn will help cultivate sustainable coexistence, whilst ensuring community and landholder confidence in the regulators and gas industry increases.

Drawing on its wealth of experience in the development of the gas industry and by collaborating with other relevant entities, the Commission provides a range of support to communities and landholders, primarily through education and engagement. These education and engagement activities occur with individual landholders via Commission facilitated webinars, information sessions, publications (The Gas Guide, Shared Landscapes Reports), face-to-face meetings and public workshops.

It should be noted that the Commission does not engage in individual negotiations between landholders and gas companies, but rather provides communities and landholders with the information and support they need to make informed decisions and achieve good outcomes.