Coal Seam Gas mining

Many dairy farmers are asking questions about unconventional gas mining, also known as onshore gas mining. Most farmers will have heard of CSG, or coal seam gas, but other sources include tight and shale gas.

Unconventional gas mining is controversial, in large part due to concerns about hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', a technology used in some gas wells to help gas flow more freely.

Concerns have focused on farmers' rights, potential effects on groundwater quality and quantity; aquifer interference; chemical use; fugitive emissions; increased local traffic; noise and dust; food safety; and, market perceptions.

As the outcomes of research have increased knowledge and understanding, opportunities for agriculture and rural communities are also emerging and being explored in situ through trial and demonstration.

The Australian Dairy Industry Council has developed a whole-of-supply chain policy position on unconventional gas mining in dairy regions. The position was developed in consultation with dairy farmers, state dairy organisations and milk companies.

The fundamental principle is that the Australian dairy industry must continue to operate and prosper without compromising the natural resources upon which the industry relies, and without loss to reputation as a producer of high quality, safe dairy products. The position can be found on

Dairy Australia has prepared a series of fact sheets to answer those questions most relevant to the dairy industry, and enable farmers to understand the issues should unconventional gas mining be investigated in their local area.

Some dairy regions in Australia have coexisted with unconventional gas mining industries for more than ten years and have a wealth of knowledge on which to draw. These fact sheets incorporate this experience.

Dairy Australia contact: Claire Miller, Manager Policy Strategy, 03 9694 3739 or

Other key contacts across Australia can be found in our key contacts document.



Review of dairy and unconventional gas mining in Eastern Australia 

Power point presentations

Onshore gas mining - UDV information night, Timboon, 15 April 2015

Unconventional gas mining communication sessions

More information

Frequently asked questions (PDF, 522KB)

Many in the community are asking questions about unconventional gas mining management and practice. Questions most relevant to the dairy industry are answered in this and other fact sheets, enabling farmers to better prepare should unconventional gas mining be investigated in their local area.

Impacts and opportunities (PDF, 503KB)

A summary of potential environmental, amenity and other impacts of unconventional gas mining activities, but also economic and other opportunities for farmers and regional communities. How the dairy industry is representing your interests.

Planning and managing in a coexistence scenario (PDF, 426KB)

Preparing a Land Access Agreement (LAA) or similar legal paperwork may be daunting. Well documented baseline information about your property is required, as well as a long, hard think about your farm business plans. Potential adaptation of quality assurance plans, environmental safeguards, access arrangements, rehabilitation and potential third-party effects all need to be considered.

Land access and farmers' rights (PDF, 396KB)

What happens if contacted by a gas company seeking access for exploration or locating a gas well on your property, the rights of farmers and companies, codes of practice, seeking legal advice and compensation.

Water quality and quantity (PDF, 420KB)

Potential effects on aquifers, and avoiding groundwater interference and surface spills; drinking and stock water standards; chemical additives in fracking fluids; management and treatment of fracking fluids and produced water from gas wells.

Overview of regulatory safeguards and research (PDF, 415KB)

Federal and State regulatory and environmental frameworks set out the processes and requirements for gas exploration and production, assessment and approvals, and compliance and enforcement of licence conditions.