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Assessment Components

Bioregional assessments are organised into five components of work that guide the overall research and outcomes for each bioregion and subregion.

Products are generated for each component. They range from publicly accessible data and contextual information, to products that summarise outcomes such as regional-scale analyses of impact and risk.

The Bioregional Assessment Program will not produce all products of each component for every bioregion and subregion. For example, in subregions where there is no likely coal or coal seam gas resource development, work may not be needed in model-data analysis or impact and risk analysis stages. This will ensure that the Australian Government investment is focused on areas where a greater level of coal and coal seam gas development is expected and new scientific knowledge can be developed. It will also avoid duplicating other work.

Use the navigation pane to learn more about each component and access the available products from the bioregional assessments.

The five components are further described in the bioregional assessment methodology and are summarised below.

Contextual information

This component, contextual information, gathers information about the regional context in which coal and coal seam gas development is occurring. The products in this component describe the key characteristics of the bioregion or subregion. Existing information about the ecology, hydrology, geology and hydrogeology provides the basis for this work. The coal and coal seam gas resource assessment, and the description of the water-dependent asset register, are also important contextual information products.

Model-data analysis

In this component, model-data analysis, information obtained from observations and models, some of which are developed specifically for the bioregional assessments, is evaluated and synthesised. This information is then used to:

  • Identify the most likely coal and coal seam gas developments and the potential hazards that may arise from that development
  • determine how the system works, with particular focus on features that may affect the movement of water
  • undertake numerical modelling to see if the surface water or groundwater changes in response to the coal resource developments
  • develop further models that link surface water or groundwater changes to ecological changes.

Impact analysis

In the impact analysis component, the potential impacts of coal and coal seam gas resource development are assessed – including both hydrological and ecological impacts. The products include impacts for a selection of hazards, landscape classes and water-dependent assets.  

This analysis draws upon a broad set of information including output from modelling, literature reviews, external experts and supporting studies. Potential impacts, along with associated uncertainty, may be described quantitatively or qualitatively (with appropriate evidence provided).

For the purposes of reporting in the bioregional assessments, this component is combined with the Risk analysis component to create the Impact and risk analysis product for each bioregion or subregion.

Risk analysis

The risk analysis component is concerned with the likelihood and severity of impacts of coal or coal seam gas development in each bioregion and subregion. Stakeholders can use this information to undertake their own broader risk assessments.

For the purposes of reporting in the bioregional assessments, this component is combined with the Impact analysis component to create the Impact and risk analysis product for each bioregion or subregion.

Outcome synthesis

In the component, outcome synthesis, the information published in the other four components of a bioregional assessment is synthesised.

Last updated:
14 September 2017