The environmental impacts of Coal Seam Gas exploration just got murkier.

A report released by the Queensland Water Commission today warns hundreds of water bores will be affected, but mining companies insist it’s manageable.

Brock Taylor reports.


Farmers and graziers have waited for the Queensland Water Commission’s report with baited breath, but it didn’t condemn the mining industry as they might’ve hoped.

While 528 private water bores are expected to be impacted by gas exploration, that represents just 2.5 per cent of properties in the Surat Basin.

Mining companies have welcomed the report, but it’s cold comfort for farmers on the frontline.

Randall Cox, Qld Water Commission: “Most of the bores in the Walloon Coal Measures that are affected by this will have an impact of less than 21 metres, which can still be quite significant to a land holder.”

Tenure operators within the research area are legally obligated to follow the recommendations of the report.

Over the next three years the Queensland Water Commission will expand their research to include nearly 500 monitoring points. During that time it is predicted that energy companies will establish 30,000 gas wells above the basin.

But Queensland Greens Senator Larissa Waters wants to know why the Government is rushing environmental approvals.

She says Premier Campbell Newman needs to outline exactly how he intends delivering on his election promises to secure landholders’ rights.

Senator Larissa Waters, Greens Party: “The State Government is playing catch up and it’s made some improvements, but there’s still going to be these long term impacts on our ground water so we need our laws strengthened.”

The public is invited to comment on the draft report and submissions will be added to the final report due to be released on July 18.

Brock Taylor, QUT News.