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Appendix 2 ACARP C22029 Managing Cumulative Impacts in Mixed-Industry Regions: Western Downs (Surat Basin) Case Study

Published by: CSRM - The University of Queensland

The Western Downs is located in south west Queensland about 200 kilometres west of Brisbane and 75 kilometres north-west of Toowoomba. It is connected to these centres by the Warrego Highway which runs east to west. The region comprises six former local government areas, including Dalby Town Council, the Shires of Chinchilla, Tara, Murilla, and Wambo, and a division of the Shire of Taroom (Figure 1) (Western Downs Regional Council, 2012).

Western Downs is a multi-industry hub with continued growth in agriculture, manufacturing, construction and the resource sector (Advance Western Downs, 2013) (see Figure 2). The region‟s agricultural produce includes livestock, cereal crops, intensive animal industries and forestry activities (Western Downs Regional Council, 2012). Western Downs is also home to a significant proportion of the Surat Basin, which is a rich reserve of energy resources. The region‟s energy sector includes “coal, coal seam gas (CSG), coal seam gas water, ethanol and power station development”