Environmental Impacts

We are partnering with industry to assess the social, economic and environmental impacts asssociated with Australia’s natural gas industry.


The Challenge

Risk and benefits for society

Australia has vast resources of both coal seam gas (CSG) and shale gas, both of which have the potential to make a significant contribution to the Australian energy portfolio. The extraction of resources such as CSG are among the most recent changes and challenges to our environment and rural communities, bringing risks as well as benefits to society.

Our Response

Partnering with industry

We are partnering with industry through the Gas Industry Social & Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) to research the environmental, social and economic impacts associated with Australia’s natural gas industry.

Research on social and economic impacts and opportunities aims to inform and support change in regional areas and communities affected by CSG development. It also looks to provide a legacy of knowledge that enables communities to benefit from future resource developments.

The Results

Assessing social and environmental impacts

We are conducting research to assess some of the environmental impacts of the unconventional gas industry. This includes investigating the potential impacts of CSG development on water resources through the Australian Government’s Bioregional Assessment Programme, as well as working to measure the impact of fugitive emissions from CSG.

In 2014, we completed the first study to measure fugitive methane emissions from CSG developments in Australia.Through GISERA, we are also conducting a range of research including agricultural land management, surface and groundwater, marine environment, terrestrial biodiversity and greenhouse gas emissions.