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Gippsland Basin bioregion

Lake Victoria, Victoria, 2013  Credit: Hashim Carey, # Photography

This bioregional assessment helps us understand how coal seam gas and coal mining development could affect water resources and water-dependent assets in the Gippsland Basin bioregion. The Australian Government is working in partnership with the Victorian Government on this bioregional assessment, to ensure that regional expertise and the most up-to-date data are accessed.

About the bioregion

The Gippsland Basin bioregion is in south-eastern Victoria and includes the area between the foothills of the Great Dividing Range to the north, and the Bass Strait coast to the south, Warragul to the west, and Cann River to the east. The offshore part of the Gippsland Basin is not included in the bioregion. Key rivers include the Latrobe River, Thomson River, Macalister River, Mitchell River and Tambo River. All key rivers drain seaward, many passing through nationally and internationally significant wetlands, such as Gippsland Lakes and Corner Inlet.

The landscape is mostly agricultural, but land is also used for forestry and mining. There are four major water storage locations in the bioregion that supply water to major cities and towns, including some outside the bioregion. Groundwater is provided for agriculture, urban and industrial uses, and power station cooling. The bioregion is home to a number of ecological communities, and plant and animal species which are listed as threatened, endangered or critically endangered under Commonwealth legislation.

Coal mining and coal seam gas operations

This bioregion is underlain by rocks of the geological Gippsland Basin, some of which contain significant resources of brown coal (Latrobe Valley Group coal measures). The Gippsland Basin hosts some of the largest brown coal deposits in the world. This coal is mined and supplied to power stations to generate electricity, producing most of Victoria’s electricity needs. There are three coal mines currently operating (Yallourn, Hazelwood and Loy Yang).

About the bioregional assessment

The assessment involves compiling background information, a water-dependent asset register, a data register and the development of a groundwater model and associated reporting.

Last updated:
8 April 2016