The first ever research alliance to support sustainable development of the coal seam gas industry has formed.
Launched by CSIRO chief executive Megan Clark and Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) project director Page Maxson, the project dubbed the Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA), will undertake research in five key social and environmental areas: groundwater and surface water; biodiversity; land management; the marine environment and socio-economic impacts.
“CSIRPO and APLNG have provided initial funding totaling $14 million over the next five year for the alliance to undertake this research into Queensland’s CSG industry,” Clark said.
Coal seam gas now supplies approximately 90% of the state’s gas supplies and around 15% of its electricity generation.
Maxson said this is an exciting development for Queensland and Australia due to the benefits for the CSG/LNG industry.
He went on to say that it will also satisfy demand for additional information on the industry from stakeholders such as regional communities, farmers and conservation groups.
“Science is well-placed to contribute constructively and objectively to this desire for additional information which will be used to further shape and guide the CSG/LNG industry – and this is where GISERA will play a crucial role,” Maxson said.
“GISERA has been designed to promote a broad membership base to ensure it delivers ‘public good’ science that will benefit the broader community and industry.
“The Alliance’s robust governance framework will ensure the delivery of quality peer-reviewed and publicly available science,” Clark added.
“This will be achieved through expanding the membership to other companies both in and outside of the industry, as well as research purchasers and providers such as government agencies and universities,” Maxson explained.
“Stakeholders such as agricultural industries and communities will also be sought as members.”
APLNG currently holds the nation’s largest CSG reserves and provides nearly half of Queensland’s gas supply.
While GISERA’s initial focus is on Queensland’s CSG-LNG industry, it will consider expanding the scope to include all of Australia.