3.4.1 Overview

This section focuses on landscape classes with potential ecological impacts. Economic and sociocultural impacts are addressed in Section 3.5. Landscape classification was used to characterise the diverse range of water-dependent assets into a smaller number of landscape classes for further analysis and is described in companion product 2.3 for the Maranoa-Balonne-Condamine subregion (Holland et al., 2016).

The assessment extent was classified into 34 landscape classes, based on key landscape properties related to patterns in geology, geomorphology, hydrology, ecology and land use. The landscape classification describes the main ecological and human systems (including agricultural production systems, industrial and urban uses), and provides a high-level conceptualisation of the subregion at the surface (Figure 22).

Figure 22

Figure 22 Schematic of the landscape classification for the Maranoa-Balonne-Condamine subregion

GAB = Great Artesian Basin, GDE = groundwater-dependent ecosystem, GAB GDEs… = GAB GDEs (riverine, springs, floodplain, non‑floodplain), Non-floodplain… = Non-floodplain or upland riverine (including non-GAB GDEs)

Landscape classes were aggregated into five landscape groups based on their likely response to hydrological changes (Figure 23). One landscape group, ‘Dryland remnant vegetation’, which contains a large proportion of the remnant vegetation in the assessment extent, was not considered to be water dependent and was therefore ruled out of potential impacts due to additional coal resource development.

Landscape groups in the vicinity of New Acland Coal Mine are predominantly ‘Human-modified’ and ‘Dryland remnant vegetation’, covering over 95% of the zone of potential hydrological change. Watercourses within and downstream of the zone of potential hydrological change in the vicinity of the New Acland Coal Mine include Doctors, Lagoon, Oakey and Spring creeks that flow to the north-west into the Condamine River. These creeks are classified as temporary upland and temporary lowland streams that are associated with non-GAB aquifers, such as the Main Range Volcanics and alluvium (Figure 23).

In the vicinity of The Range coal mine, 93% of the area is classified as ‘Dryland remnant vegetation’, which is predominantly to the east of the mine, or ‘Human-modified’, predominantly to the west of the mine. Watercourses and groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs) are classified into three landscape groups in the vicinity of The Range coal mine: ‘GAB GDEs (riverine, springs, floodplain, non-floodplain)’ to the north-east; ‘Floodplain or lowland riverine (including non-GAB GDEs)’ to the south-east; and ‘Non-floodplain or upland riverine (including non-GAB GDEs)’ to the west. GAB GDEs to the north-east overlie an area of Hutton Sandstone aquifer outcrop and include Warranna Creek, which flows to the Auburn River in the Burnett river basin. Dogwood and Rocky creeks are temporary lowland streams that flow to the south-west toward the confluence of Dogwood Creek with the Condamine and Balonne rivers. Temporary upland streams to the west of The Range coal mine flow through human-modified landscapes and flow into Juandah Creek on the western edge, which flows to the Dawson River in the north.

Figure 23

Figure 23 Landscape groups within the zone of potential hydrological change

The mine pits in the coal resource development pathway are the sum of those in the baseline and the additional coal resource development.

ACRD = additional coal resource development, CSG = coal seam gas, GAB = Great Artesian Basin, GDE = groundwater-dependent ecosystem

Data: Bioregional Assessment Programme (Dataset 1, Dataset 2, Dataset 3, Dataset 4)

Last updated:
30 October 2018
Thumbnail of the Maranoa-Baloone-Condamine subregion

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