South Australia signs up to Coal Seam Gas Agreement
THU 22 MARCH 2012
South Australia has become the third state to sign up to tougher regulations for future coal seam gas and large coal mining projects.
SA has signed up to the Gillard Government’s National Partnership Agreement on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining.
This means all environmental approvals and licensing developments for coal seam gas and large coal mining developments in South Australia will be based on rigorous scientific evidence.
The National Partnership Agreement specifies $150 million for a new Independent Expert Scientific Committee, to:
- Provide governments with expert scientific advice on CSG and large coal mining development proposals that are likely to have a significant impact on water resources;
- Commission public research and bioregional assessments in areas of high CSG and/or large coal mining developments in order to improve scientific knowledge and understanding of the impacts of these developments, both in specific locations and on water resources more broadly; and
- Make public its advice and the findings of all research undertaken.
The Agreement strengthens the regulation of CSG and large coal mining developments that may have an impact on water resources.
Coal seam gas and coal can bring huge opportunities – both in investment and job creation - but it is important to maintain community confidence in these developments.
The new Committee will fill the gaps in scientific understanding about the impacts of these developments, and underpin the safe and reliable expansion of the industry.
The Prime Minister wrote to the Premiers of NSW, Qld, Vic, SA and the Chief Minister of the NT in November asking them to sign on to the Agreement.
The Queensland Government signed up to the Agreement on February 14, followed by the NSW Government on March 7.
The Government will continue to work cooperatively with other states and territories.