Cooper GBA Region

Cooper GBA region

The Cooper GBA region spans an area of about 130,000 square kilometres and is located entirely within the Lake Eyre drainage catchment. About two-thirds of the region is located in south-west Queensland and the remainder in north-east South Australia and far north-west New  South Wales.

Much of the Cooper GBA region is part of the Cooper Creek–Bulloo river basin. Cooper Creek and the Thomson, Barcoo and Bulloo rivers are the major streams in this basin. Cooper Creek flows some 1500 kilometres south-west through Coongie Lakes Ramsar wetland to Kati Thanda—Lake Eyre. During periods of high flow its floodplain can exceed 15,300 square kilometres with a width exceeding 60 kilometres.

Rapid regional prioritisation (stage 1)

On 29 November 2017, the Cooper GBA region was announced as the first region selected for assessment under the Geological and Bioregional Assessment Program. The Cooper GBA region incorporates the Cooper–Eromanga Basin hydrocarbon system. It is Australia’s premier onshore oil and gas producing area and, as such, its geology is relatively well understood.  The Cooper Basin is being actively explored for shale and tight gas, along with gas from deep dry coals. The rapid regional prioritisation report can be found here.

Baseline analysis (stage 2)

The Geological and environmental baseline assessment for the Cooper GBA region synthesises knowledge about the geology and prospectivity of shale, tight and deep coal gas resources, water resources, protected matters and risks to water and the environment.

Impact analysis and management assessment (stage 3)

The impact analysis and management assessment for the Cooper GBA region analyses the potential impacts to water resources and Commonwealth and state matters of environmental significance to enable effective monitoring, mitigation and management measures. Stage 3 is underway and is expected to be completed by 2021.

User panel

The next meeting of the Cooper GBA region user panel is expected to be held in the second half of 2020.

Previous user panel meetings were held on 21 March and 19 September 2018 and 01 August 2019.

Discussions from each user panel meeting are summarised in a communique which is published on the Geological and Bioregional Assessment website (below).

Last updated:
15 May 2020