Dairy Australia - Dairy information for Australian Dairy Farmers and the industry

Primary content

Fact sheets about unconventional gas mining, also known as onshore gas mining and including coal seam gas.

Onshore gas mining

Onshore gas mining includes extracting gas from conventional geological formations, and unconventional geological formations. Unconventional gas mining includes coal seam gas (CSG), 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 from unconventional sources to flow more freely. Conventional gas mining does not involve fracking.

Landholder concerns about fracking 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. 

Victoria banned unconventional gas exploration and fracking in 2017. It has a moratorium on onshore conventional gas exploration until 2020. Tasmania has banned fracking until 2020. Strict regulatory and other safeguards apply to unconventional mining in South Australia, NSW and Queensland. No new unconventional gas projects are under active consideration in Australia's dairy regions.

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 here 

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. 

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

Power point presentations

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

https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/key/bkVHmtJ2Hf20gi

Unconventional gas mining communication sessions

https://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/key/CWXkwsTm5mqN6r

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.

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