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The $35.4 million Geological and Bioregional Assessment (GBA) Program is assessing the potential environmental impacts of unconventional gas resource development to inform regulatory frameworks and appropriate management approaches. The geological and environmental knowledge, data and tools produced by the GBA Program will assist governments, industry, land users and the community by informing decision-making and enabling the coordinated management of potential impacts.

This assessment identifies potential impacts on water and the environment. Causal networks were used to determine where potential impacts cannot be ruled out. Governments, industry and the community can then focus on areas that are potentially impacted and apply local-scale modelling when making regulatory, water management and planning decisions. The GBA Program comprises 3 stages:

  • Stage 1 Rapid regional basin prioritisation: dentification of geological basins with the greatest potential to deliver shale and/or tight gas to the East Coast Gas Market within the next 5 to 10 years.
  • Stage 2 Geological and environmental baseline assessments: compilation and analysis of available data to form a baseline and identify knowledge gaps to guide collection of additional baseline data. This includes integration of data, knowledge and conceptual models that are the building blocks for Stage 3.
  • Stage 3 Impact assessment: analysis of the potential impacts on water resources and matters of environmental significance to inform and support Australian Government and state and territory management and compliance activities.
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