Communique 10 - February 2020

The tenth meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel for the Victorian Gas Program's (VGP) Onshore Conventional Gas Studies was held in Melbourne on Thursday, 13 February 2020.

The primary purpose of the meeting was to undertake a detailed review of the assessment of the risks, benefits and impacts (RBI) of a potential onshore conventional gas industry, which underpins the Panel’s advice to the Minister for Resources.

The Geological Survey of Victoria is regularly explaining and discussing onshore conventional gas at regional community events.

The RBI assessment looks at seven hypothetical onshore conventional gas exploration and development scenarios in the Otway and Gippsland basins and considers them against 17 economic, social and environmental receptors. It also incorporates economic and greenhouse gas modelling.

The RBI assessment ties together the VGPs studies, which panel members have overseen for the past two and a half years, including:

  • areas in both the Otway Basin and Gippsland Basin that have the potential for new discoveries of onshore conventional gas
  • estimated ranges of how much onshore conventional gas could be discovered in Victoria
  • groundwater impact modelling in both basins against a range of scenarios based on how much gas could be extracted
  • regional groundwater and atmospheric baseline measurements of the Otway and Gippsland basins, and
  • resource and land use planning models of the Otway and Gippsland basins to understand the suitability of different areas in each region to host onshore conventional gas exploration and development.

The RBI assessment also includes social research undertaken by CSIRO. The Panel reviewed the findings of a telephone survey undertaken in late 2019 of 800 people across the Gippsland and Otway basins. Survey respondents were interviewed about their perceptions of community wellbeing and regional attitudes to onshore conventional gas development. The results provide insights into a range of local views about onshore conventional gas development and factors important to communities if exploration and development were allowed.

The next meeting of the Stakeholder Advisory Panel will be held in April 2020.

Page last updated: 26 March 2020