Collating science and research a top priority for GasFields Commission

USQ's Professor Steven Raine is also the GasFields Commissioner and is seeking further CSG and groudwater research

Collating coal seam gas (CSG) and groundwater research is the priority for GasFields Commissioner Professor Steven Raine from USQ’s Faculty of Engineering and Surveying as he gets down to the business of delivering the Science and Research Portfolio.

At the second meeting of the GasFields Commission Queensland last week (Thursday 6 September), Commissioner Raine said he had written to 17 research providers asking what research is or has been conducted, its cost and delivery timeframe, as well as who is funding and conducting the research.

The research providers included universities, government agencies and CSG proponents.

Areas of research the Commission is seeking advice on includes: CSG water treatment and management; salt management and disposal; impacts of CSG activities on groundwater drawdown, groundwater quality and inter‐aquifer leakage; re‐injection of CSG water into aquifers; and water quality and management guidelines for beneficial use of CSG water.

‘The role of the Science and Research Portfolio is to ensure that well focused, high quality and credible research is being carried out to support the co-existence of rural landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry,’ Commissioner Raine said.

‘It is also my hope to elevate public awareness of what scientific investigations are being carried out and to advocate for all relevant studies to be made publically available.’

Once the science and research activities have been collated, Commissioner Raine will initiate a review and gap analysis to determine what other research may be required to provide confidence in assessing co-existence concerns. The initial focus will be on groundwater and irrigated cropping land issues and involve consultation with relevant stakeholders, landholders and community representatives in order to form a consensus on research direction. 

‘I want the GasFields Commission to be playing a constructive role to improve confidence in the research that is undertaken by assisting both industry and the affected communities to have input into the science needs and outcomes,’ he said.

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