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Published: 19 December 2011

GISERA – deepening our understanding of coal seam gas

Recently, there has been a lot of debate on coal seam gas (CSG) developments in Australia. In this domain, constructive dialogue is being taken over by conflicting facts, opinions and perceptions.

Coal seam gas developments are associated with a range of environmental, social and economic impacts.
Coal seam gas developments are associated with a range of environmental, social and economic impacts.
Credit: Australia Pacific LNG

The Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance (GISERA) was co-founded by CSIRO and Australia Pacific LNG (a CSG to LNG joint venture between Origin and ConocoPhillips). Launched in July 2011, GISERA aims to deliver ‘public-good’ research that will benefit the broader community and industry, and to synthesise the available information on the environmental impacts of CSG.

GISERA will undertake integrated, systems-based research to address the impacts of gas developments, drawn from an evidence-based understanding of regional processes and issues. In the first instance, GISERA is exploring issues in Queensland related to five topics in the CSG industry:

  1. surface and groundwater

  2. biodiversity

  3. land management

  4. marine environment

  5. socio-economic impacts.

GISERA has been designed to include organisations both in and outside the industry, as well as research purchasers and providers such as government agencies and universities. Stakeholders including agricultural industries and communities are also being sought as members.

A robust governance framework has been designed to ensure the delivery of quality peer-reviewed and publicly available science. Research planning is overseen by a Research Advisory Committee, which draws on formal and informal advice from a range of experts and interests. Research will be conducted with the active collaboration of a range of regional stakeholders, and research reports will be made publicly available following CSIRO’s rigorous peer review process. Results will be posted on the GISERA website.

For more detail on GISERA’s governance framework and facts on CSG, hydraulic fracturing – or ‘fraccing’ as it is commonly known – and the Great Artesian Basin, go to the GISERA website. Here you can also download or listen to answers on frequently asked questions about CSG.

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