CSG-LNG legislation

Coal seam gas (CSG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations in Queensland are subject to strict laws to minimise their impacts on the environment. The Queensland Government has stringent monitoring and compliance regimes in place to make sure companies are meeting their obligations.

The Queensland Government has put in place laws that:

  • Protect groundwater and the Great Artesian Basin – Landholders and rural communities depend on groundwater and the Great Artesian Basin. The Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) provides the groundwater management functions previously carried out by the Queensland Water Commission. OGIA is responsible for assessing potential future cumulative impacts on groundwater and developing management responses that help to minimise those impacts.
  • Adopt a precautionary approach – The Queensland Government has introduced an adaptive environmental management regime. This allows for the alteration of environmental conditions placed on a project on the basis of new information and/or research as it becomes available.
  • Control water quality – The Queensland Government has banned the use of evaporation dams and strengthened conditions around the treatment and use of CSG water. These measures further protect the Great Artesian Basin, creeks and rivers, and farming land.
  • Prohibit harmful chemicals – CSG operators are not allowed to use the petroleum compounds benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene – also known as BTEX – as a deliberate component of hydraulic fracturing fluids.
  • Protect landholders' water quality – CSG operators must measure the water quantity in landholders' water bores before CSG activities start and during CSG extraction. This provides baseline information for monitoring impacts over time and compensation if bores are affected.
  • Protect regional interests – A regional interests development approval (RIDA) may be required under the Regional Planning Interests Act 2014 for activities proposed in areas of regional interest.

A range of enforcement tools and penalties are in place to deal with environmental incidents and compliance breaches. The Queensland Government has also established the CSG Compliance Unit (formerly the LNG Enforcement Unit) to monitor CSG operators and ensure that they are in compliance with industry laws and regulations.

Reporting CSG concerns

If you have any concerns about CSG operations, you can contact us with your resource enquiry or complaint.

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