Consideration of Auditor-General Report 12: 2019-20—Managing coal seam gas activities (LAPSED)

Inquiry Lapsed

The Committee of the Legislative Assembly referred this Auditor-General’s report to the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee on 20 February 2020. On 21 May 2020, the Legislative Assembly amended Schedule 6 of the Standing Rules and Orders of the Legislative Assembly, establishing the Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee. This Auditor-General's report was then referred to the Natural Resources, Agricultural Industry Development and Environment Committee for consideration.


Role of the Auditor-General

The role of the Auditor-General is to provide Parliament with independent assurance of public sector accountability and performance. This is achieved through reporting to Parliament on the results of its financial and performance audits.

About the Auditor-General Report

View:Auditor-General Report 12: 2019-20—Managing coal seam gas activities

The Queensland Audit Office (QAO) audited two coal seam gas industry regulators, the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy (DNRME) and the Department of Environment and Science (DES), and the GasFields Commission Queensland (commission). While the commission is not a regulator, it has a legislated oversight role to the regulatory framework.

The purpose of the audit was to assess the performance of the regulators and the commission in fulfilling their roles, the gains they have made, and their ongoing challenges in delivering the government’s coexistence policy (successful coexistence between landholders, communities and industry). The QAO found that the regulators’ framework for coal seam gas activities was generally effective however needs further refinement, including better coordination in compliance planning, and information and data sharing.

The QAO recommended a number of action points for the assessed entities, mostly pertaining to use of data within and between entities; improving coordination between entities, particularly when dealing with applicants and stakeholders; continued evaluation of current approaches and whether they are adequately managing coal seam gas activities; and increasing transparency to further enhance the coexistence policy.

Additionally, the QAO recommended that the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, of which the commission is an independent statutory authority of, determines the scope, future function and role of the commission, taking into account industry maturity and stakeholder consultation. 

Referral to Committee 

Standing Order 194B provides that the Committee of the Legislative Assembly shall as soon as practicable after a report of the Auditor-General is tabled in the Assembly refer that report to the relevant portfolio committee(s) for consideration. 

The committee is responsible under section 94 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001 for assessing the integrity, economy, efficiency and effectiveness of government financial management by examining government financial documents and considering reports of the Auditor-General.


Public briefing:Monday 27 April 2020 at 10.30 am - transcript - broadcast (starts at 1:51)
Public hearing:Monday 11 May 2020 at 9.00 am - transcript - broadcast
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