Impacts of Underground Coal Mining on Natural Features in the Southern Coalfields Strategic Review - July 2008


This independent inquiry was established because of concerns held by the Government over both past and potential future impacts of mine subsidence on significant natural features in the Southern Coalfield. These concerns first surfaced in the community in 1994 when the bed of the Cataract River suffered cracking and other subsidence impacts.

The inquiry’s Terms of Reference were to: 

  1. Undertake a strategic review of the impacts of underground mining in the Southern Coalfield on significant natural features (ie rivers and significant streams, swamps and cliff lines), with particular emphasis on risks to water flows, water quality and aquatic ecosystems; and; 
  2. Provide advice on best practice in regard to:
    a) assessment of subsidence impacts;
    b)  avoiding and/or minimising adverse impacts on significant natural features; and c)  management, monitoring and remediation of subsidence and subsidence-related impacts; and;
  3. Report on the social and economic significance to the region and the State of the coal resources in the Southern Coalfield.