Gloucester subregion

View of the Gloucester valley NSW with the Barrington River and associated riparian vegetation in the foreground and the township Gloucester in the distance looking south from the Kia Ora Lookout, 2013 Credit: Heinz Buettikofer, CSIRO

This bioregional assessment helps us understand how coal seam gas and coal mining development could affect water resources and water-dependent assets in the Gloucester subregion, which is part of the Northern Sydney Basin bioregion. It identifies where potential impacts might occur, as well as the areas that are unlikely to be affected.

About the subregion

The Gloucester subregion is the smallest subregion in this programme and is located north of Sydney and the Hunter Valley in New South Wales. Within the subregion, a rise in the landscape divides the north flowing Avon River from the south flowing Mammy Johnsons River. The largest towns in the subregion are Gloucester and Stroud.

Land is mainly used for agriculture (livestock grazing), and urban development and businesses. Most water used in the subregion is for agriculture and is sourced from local surface runoff, rivers and groundwater.

Very little of the subregion lies within conservation reserves, however areas of national and international ecological significance are nearby. This includes nationally and internationally significant wetlands and the Barrington Tops World Heritage area. The subregion is home to a number of water-dependent ecological communities, animals and plants which are listed as threatened under New South Wales and Commonwealth legislation.

Coal mining and coal seam gas operations

The Gloucester subregion is underlain by the rocks of the geological Gloucester Basin which are known to contain black coal. There are two operating coal mines (Stratford and Duralie), both with planned extensions, and one further new coal mine is proposed (Rocky Hill).

The Gloucester Basin is an area of significant interest for coal seam gas exploration. The subregion had one approved coal seam gas development (Gloucester Gas Project) but the project was terminated in February 2016 before it started commercial production.

About the bioregional assessment

The bioregional assessment for the Gloucester subregion involves compiling background information, a water-dependent asset register and a data register. There will also be an independent assessment of the cumulative impacts of coal seam gas and coal mining development on water resources and water-dependent assets in this subregion. As part of the bioregional assessment, an outcome synthesis will be produced for the Gloucester subregion.

Last updated:
8 April 2016