The Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development’s (IESC's) advice helps increase transparency and strengthens the scientific basis of regulatory decisions by identifying potential impacts of coal or coal seam gas developments.
Who makes the decisions?
The IESC do not make decisions about whether to approve a development proposal. The Australian Government and relevant state government regulators have this responsibility.
The IESC advises the Australian Government and state government regulators in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria. The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) (EPBC Act) states that the Australian Government regulator must request our advice on the potential impacts to water resources from coal seam gas and large coal mining development proposals.
The Australian Government becomes involved in the decision making process where a coal seam gas or coal mining activity is likely to have a significant impact on a water resource. This is commonly known as the ‘water trigger’ in the EPBC Act. The Australian Government Environment Minister must seek our advice on any assessment and approval process where the water trigger applies.
Advice from the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on Coal Seam Gas and Large Coal Mining Development
Advice from the IESC makes regulatory decisions more transparent and gives regulators a stronger scientific basis.
The IESC considers all potential impacts on water resources. This includes the effects on groundwater, surface water, water quality and quantity, ecosystems and ecological processes.
Advice is based on the best available scientific information. This includes:
- IESC members' extensive experience in our academic field
- research relevant to the proposals being considered, including research commissioned by the Australian Government to better understand the impacts of coal seam gas and coal mining development on water resources. This research can be found at : Coal and coal seam gas - Science and research
- reports published under the Bioregional Assessment Programme
Publication of advice
The IESC publish their scientific advice within 10 business days after we send it to the regulator. This means the community has access to the same scientific information the regulator has.