The South Australian Government has signed up to the Federal Government’s National Partnership Agreement on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining agreement, becoming the third state to agree to ‘tougher regulations for future coal seam gas and large coal mining projects’.

 
The National Partnership Agreement specifies $150 million for a new Independent Expert Scientific Committee, to:

  • Provide governments with expert scientific advice on CSG and large coal mining development proposals that are likely to have a significant impact on water resources;
  • Commission public research and bioregional assessments in areas of high CSG and/or large coal mining developments in order to improve scientific knowledge and understanding of the impacts of these developments, both in specific locations and on water resources more broadly; and
  • Make public its advice and the findings of all research undertaken.

 

The Agreement strengthens the regulation of CSG and large coal mining developments that may have an impact on water resources.

 
“Coal seam gas and coal can bring huge opportunities – both in investment and job creation - but it is important to maintain community confidence in these developments,” Prime Minister Julia Gillard said in a statement.

 

The Queensland Government signed up to the Agreement on February 14, followed by the NSW Government on March 7.