4 Assessment results

The impact assessment, examining impacts on water, the environment and protected fauna, found that there are no pathways of ‘potentially high concern’ in the causal network. This means that all potential impacts due to unconventional gas resource development identified by the assessment can be mitigated through ongoing compliance with existing regulatory and management controls.

Pathways of ‘potential concern’ are primarily related to activities that create a disturbance at the surface ( transport of materials and equipment , civil construction , decommissioning and rehabilitation , and seismic acquisition ) ( Figure 7  ). The pathways of ‘potential concern’ connect these activities with the protected matters, protected fauna and terrestrial vegetation endpoints, reflecting the potential impact of surface disturbance. The assessment determined that this potential impact can be minimised or mitigated by existing management controls. Protected flora were not prioritised for inclusion in this assessment (Pavey et al., 2020).

Pathways associated with subsurface activities drilling , hydraulic fracturing , production of hydrocarbons ) are linked to pathways of ‘low concern’ or ‘very low concern’ ( Figure 7). Compromised well integrity and accidental release are stressors that are of interest to the community. The assessment found that pathways involving these stressors are of ‘low concern’ or ‘very low concern’ when existing regulatory and management controls are implemented ( Figure 7)

The assessment is built on a large body of evidence and a significant level of detail is provided in the interactive causal network. Bold hyperlinked text in the following sections denotes where causal network node descriptions are available. This brief synthesis cannot capture the full weight of evidence behind the assessment and interested readers are encouraged to interact with GBA Explorer .

A synthesis of key findings for the impact assessment for the Beetaloo GBA region is provided. Key results are presented in Section 4.1 (causal network for the Beetaloo GBA region), Section 4.2 (water), Section 4.3 (environment) and Section 4.4 (protected fauna).

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