Groundwater with Melanie Findlay

Below is a transcript of Melanie Findlay’s interview with Aaron Steven of 990 4RO from April 2016.


When someone builds a coal mine, they are able to model and predict the groundwater impacts for a coal mine because it’s one activity.

But, a CSG gas field production takes some years and it occurs over time and it is a moving feast because you might think you are going to drop some wells in one location and you don’t get the wells to react the way you want them to so you might move your location for your wells.

So basically in 2012, the Government did one report in regards to the likely impacts of bores and underground water due to the activities of CSG operators and obviously because their plans change over time and their development locations change over time, the Government reviews that report. So, the new report is out.

It is just in draft form at the moment and you can make submissions in regards to this report and then the Government will look at those submissions and produce a final report.


Once again, having a look at that, the map is quite incredible with the area covering from Emerald down to Toowoomba and out to St George, so we are covering a large area. As a landowner, what can we expect to see in the report?


What the report shows is that that area that you are talking about is what they call the “cumulative impacted area”.

So, as in, there is that many activities going on there from different companies, it is no good looking at one company’s activities and saying “that’s what the impact will be”, because they’re all sucking water out of the same area.

So, we look at it cumulatively. Within that area, bores are either going to be impacted within three years or they’re going to be impacted sometime soon but say not within three years.




Depending on whether you are within that three year impacted bore area or outside it, it will affect your legal right to a Make Good Agreement if your bore is impacted.

You can go online and put your bore number in and it will tell you if you are long term impacted or if you are impacted immediately, as in the next three years, and depending on what the results of that bore number report are, will depend on your rights to get an agreement from a company to fix your bore if it does have an impact.


Alright, where the report is concerned, how do we make a submission?


So, if you want to find the report and read it, and it is like a door stop – it’s almost 300 pages, you can find it at

Now, it is the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment and the report is the Surat Underground Water Impact Report.

Another reason why you may want to go online and look at that report is maybe you are looking at buying a property in that area, maybe the bore looks good now, but you might be buying a place that the Government knows within the next three years you are going to have issues with water supply.

So that might be another reason why you might want to go and look at the report.


Alright so if we go and have a look at the report and want any advice or if we want direction or some sort of understanding we can contact you?


Yes. So my number is 4927 6333 or you can find me on the website through and I’ve got links to the report on the website as well.

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