Key recommendations that must be implemented prior to any further exploration approvals being granted
1. Development and implementation of a code of practice for the decommissioning of onshore shale gas wells.
2. Development and implementation of a code of practice to ensure the integrity of onshore shale gas wells.
3. Well integrity management systems and plans mandated for all onshore shale gas wells to be hydraulically fractured.
4. Development of a wastewater management framework, including an auditable system for tracking movements of wastewater.
5. Gas companies must have a water extraction licence under the Water Act to extract water for hydraulic fracturing.
6. Prohibition on the use of surface water for hydraulic fracturing.
7. Prohibition on the installation of groundwater extraction bores to supply water for hydraulic fracturing within 1km of an existing or proposed domestic or stock water supply bore.
8. Prohibition on the reinjection of wastewater into deep aquifers and conventional reservoirs.
9. Mandatory disclosure of all chemicals (including metals, salts and NORMs) in hydraulic fracturing fluids, flowback and produced water.
10. Petroleum wells be constructed to at least Category 9 or equivalent.
11. Prohibition on petroleum wells being drilled within 1km of an existing or proposed groundwater supply bore.
12. Groundwater must be monitored using multilevel monitoring bores.
13. Prohibition on the discharge of treated or untreated wastewater into waterways.
14. Completion of a baseline weed assessment in all areas of the exploration permit accessed by a gas company.
15. Gas companies must have a dedicated weeds officer.
16. Gas companies must have an approved weed management plan in place.
17. Development and implementation of a code of practice for the ongoing monitoring of methane from shale gas wells.
18. Monitoring of methane concentrations for a six month period.
19. Requirement for ongoing methane monitoring and reporting.
20. Prohibition on all exploration and production activity within 2km of any habitable dwelling.
21. Existence of an Authority Certificate.
22. ‘No go zones' declared.
23. The community must be given an opportunity to comment upon all draft environmental management plans submitted to the Government for approval.
24. Requirement that all reports and notices on environmental incidents are publicly disclosed.
25. Enforceable codes of practice be mandated for drilling and hydraulic fracturing activities.
26. Cumulative impacts of petroleum and other activities in the region must be considered by a decision-maker.
27. Open standing for judicial review of decisions made under the Petroleum Act and Petroleum Environment Regulations.
28. A monitoring and compliance strategy must be developed and implemented.
29. A whistleblower hotline must be established and any reports to it must be immediately investigated.
30. There must be a clear separation between the agencies responsible for environmental and promotional approvals.