Bioregional Assessment Program

A map of southeast Australia showing the six bioregions in the Bioregional Assessment program. These bioregions are Lake Eyre Basin, Northern Inland Catchments, Clarence-Moreton Basin, Northern Sydney Basin, Southern Sydney Basin and Gippsland Basin.

The six bioregions in the
Bioregional Assessment
Program, and their
corresponding subregions

In response to community concerns about the potential risks from coal seam gas (CSG) and large coal mining developments, the Australian Government has agreed to strengthen regulation by ensuring decisions are informed by substantially improved science and independent expert advice.

In order to better understand how these potential risks may impact our water resources, scientific investigations - called Bioregional Assessments - are being undertaken in selected regions.

Bioregional assessments are world-first, science based studies that will develop detailed, multi-layered records of the natural environment in a particular geographic region.

The Bioregional Assessment program is being undertaken as an inter-agency government partnership between the Department of the Environment, Geoscience Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO.

The assessments will analyse the ecology, hydrology, geology and hydrogeology of selected regions, with explicit assessment of the potential direct, indirect and cumulative impacts of coal seam gas and large coal mining development on water resources both above and below ground.

Primarily, the purpose of these assessments is to inform the Independent Expert Scientific Committee on CSG and Coal Mining in the following bioregional assessment areas.

  • Lake Eyre Basin
  • Northern Inland Catchments
  • Clarence-Moreton Basin
  • Northern Sydney Basin
  • Southern Sydney Basin and
  • Gippsland Basin.

These projects were established in 2012, commenced 1 July 2013, and are due for completion by 30 June 2016.

Geoscience Australia is leading the Lake Eyre Bioregional Assessment, and guiding the geological and hydrogeological aspects of all other bioregional assessments.