Impact assessment for the Cooper GBA region - Geological and Bioregional Assessment: Stage 3
The Geological and Bioregional Assessment (GBA) Program’s findings are available in a range of formats suited to a variety of audiences and levels of expertise. On this page, you will find the Program’s stage 3 results and be able to access each. The full results from Stage 3 of the GBA Program are presented through the GBA Explorer. The GBA Explorer is an interactive visualisation that allows users to view the causal network and impact assessment, as well as background information and evaluations. For more information watch the video or read the ‘how to’ information available on the GBA Explorer site.
The Cooper GBA region results are also synthesised into a single shorter report. The report highlights the key findings of the GBA Program’s impact assessment.
The report is separated into 7 chapters:
- About the assessment - The geological and bioregional assessment for the Cooper GBA region considered potential regional-scale impacts from future development of unconventional gas resources on water and the environment. It aims to provide regulators and industry with a common information base to inform decision-making and enable the coordinated management of regional-scale impacts.
- About the region - The Cooper GBA region contains diverse habitats that support important landscapes that have cultural, economic, environmental and social benefits that interact and respond to the episodic, irregular and extreme boom-bust periods that are characteristic of the Channel Country in Queensland and South Australia.
- Assessment, mitigation and monitoring – Potential impacts on water and the environment were assessed at a regional scale using causal networks. The networks illustrate the complex and interconnected nature of the natural environment and unconventional gas resource development activities in the Cooper GBA region. The assessment results can be used to identify existing avoidance and mitigation strategies and to prioritise where local-scale assessment is needed.
- Potential impacts on water - The causal network identifies the potential impacts on surface waters, groundwaters and subsurface flow paths in the Cooper GBA region. The potential impacts identified by the assessment relate to contamination or obstruction of surface waters, and contamination or drawdown of aquifers. The assessment identified that all impacts can be managed by ensuring compliance with existing controls.
- Potential impacts on the environment - The causal network identifies the potential impacts on protected environmental assets and values in the Cooper GBA region. The activities identified with the greatest potential impacts are primarily related to those that create a disturbance at the surface. For example, transport of materials and equipment, civil construction, decommissioning and rehabilitation, and seismic acquisition. These potential impacts included contamination; reduced flooding; habitat degradation, fragmentation and loss; increased competition and predation; and mortality of native species. However, the assessment identified that all impacts are able to be managed by ensuring compliance with existing controls.
- Potential impacts on protected fauna and flora - The Cooper GBA region provides potential habitat for 68 species protected under state or national legislation. The assessment prioritised 12 protected species (4 birds, 3 mammals and 5 plants) based on the importance of the Cooper GBA region to each species in order to better understand potential impacts of unconventional gas resource development on protected fauna and flora.
- Conclusion – There is high confidence that all potential impacts identified in this assessment due to unconventional gas resource development can be mitigated through ongoing compliance with existing regulatory and management controls. This includes national and state legislation, regulatory guidelines and approval conditions, industry best practice and management plans.
The ‘Impact assessment- for the Cooper GBA region - Geological and Bioregional Assessment: Stage 3 synthesis’ is available via the product download to the left.
Further information is available through the GBA Explorer, the Program’s interactive online assessment tool. A summary of the Program’s findings is also available through the interactive viewer.
The GBA Program used causal networks to assess potential impacts on water and the environment. The causal network provides a systematic approach to assessing direct and indirect pathways from unconventional gas resource development activities to environmental values. It can be consistently applied across large areas and diverse environments. Causal networks also allow the evaluation of likelihood, consequence and the effectiveness of mitigation or management measures.
For more information on the causal network assessment methodology used by the GBA Program, please see the Introduction to causal networks.
- At a glance
- Explore this assessment
- Executive summary
- 1 About the assessment
- 2 About the region
- 3 Assessment, mitigation and monitoring
- 4 Potential impacts on water
- 5 Potential impacts on the environment
- 6 Potential impacts on protected fauna and flora
- 7 Conclusion
- Contributors to the Program