Coal Seam Gas

The Commonwealth Government has established an Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining (the Committee) to ensure that all future decisions about coal seam gas projects are based on rigorous scientific evidence.

LNG.jpgThe introduction of this new science-based framework will provide certainty for gas and large coal mining developments, jobs and investment, as well as protect water resources.

While it is important to emphasise that the regulation and approval of coal seam gas and coal mine projects still lies with the States and Territories, the Commonwealth Government intends to ensure there is a national basis to this regulatory state-based approvals process by:

• Providing $150 million to establish Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining (the Committee);
• Establish a new National Partnership Agreement on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining through the Council of Australian Governments (COAG);
• Provide $50 million in incentive payments to the States and Territories to deliver this outcome;
• Mandate that the Committee publicly disclose its advice and the findings of all research it undertakes.

The Prime Minister wrote to the Premiers of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia and the Chief Minister for the Northern Territory in November 2011 asking them to sign onto the National Partnership Agreement (NPA).  The Queensland Government signed up to the NPA on 14 February 2012.  The New South Wales Government signed up to the NPA on 7 March 2012.  The Commonwealth Government will continue to work co-operatively with the other States and Territories.

Supporting documents:

New South Wales Government signs up to the National Partnership Agreement on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining
www.pm.gov.au/press-office/nsw-signs-coal-seam-gas-agreement

Terms of Reference for the Interim Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining
www.environment.gov.au/epbc/about/pubs/coal-seam-interim-committee-tor.pdf

Communique of Interim Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Coal Mining
www.environment.gov.au/epbc/about/pubs/coal-seam-interim-commmittee-communique-20120216.pdf