This page belongs to: North Bowen and Galilee Strategic Basin Plan

Immediate actions: cracking the nut

Gas well trials

Cracking complex geological challenges and proving the gas resources across the basins.

Overcoming geological and engineering complexity will be essential in ensuring cost effective production from the North Bowen and Galilee basins.

With the new investments underpinning this basin plan, the Australian Government is building essential partnerships. We are working with the University of Queensland, the Queensland Government and gas explorers in the North Bowen and Galilee basins. This expertise will help to overcome the challenges posed by the basins’ geology.

We will provide $15.7 million to deliver:

  • technical analysis of gas data and drilling techniques within the basin
  • new well design with a view to improving the cost efficiency and effectiveness of gas flows
  • support for industry and the University of Queensland to trial and evaluate these designs and publish findings.

These field trials will allow industry-academia partnerships to collect new geological data. The knowledge gained from these trials and lessons learnt will then be shared with industry throughout the region. The aim of this is to drive down ex-field production costs for all potential gas producers in the basin. This will help strengthen the commercial positions of the basins, as well as providing greater confidence in gas reserves and accelerating investment decisions

Pipeline preparations

Understanding the optimal route and capacity for a possible gas pipeline, and the regional benefits it would bring.

To allow for the commercial realisation of the resources, pipeline infrastructure is needed. Understanding the commercial imperatives and pathway to construction of this pipeline will support better decision making by industry and governments at all levels.

The government has committed $5 million to work with the Queensland Government on the feasibility of a new pipeline.

A new pipeline would link the North Bowen Basin to the east coast gas market. This will fund work to examine an optimal route and capacity for a pipeline. The work will also collect technical, economic and regulatory information needed to assist in determining the feasibility of a new pipeline. The outcomes of this work will also inform the ongoing work of the government’s National Gas Infrastructure Plan. The outcomes of this study will inform consideration of any further government assistance in relation to new gas infrastructure.

The Queensland Government also shares this priority.

“We need to ensure that the pipeline into North Bowen is the right size. We are conscious of the potential future growth in Galilee gas production and providing for that also”. — Executive Director, Queensland Government

Enabling infrastructure

Upgrading roads throughout the region to support supply chains, trade and project construction.

Supply chain infrastructure facilitates the movement of heavy equipment for well drilling, and the efficient construction of resources projects.

The government is prioritising investment in roads infrastructure. This benefits not only the gas industry, but also other sectors and users, by improving functionality and safety.

The North Australia Roads Program, Roads of Strategic Importance, and Regional Economy Enabling Fund are providing over $370 million in road upgrades (Table 4).

This complements the Queensland Government’s $69 million investment in roads across the Barcaldine and Isaac local government areas.

These projects work to:

  • boost regional productivity
  • connect people with jobs and services, and goods to markets
  • increase freight productivity
  • improve access to resources projects across the region.

Table 4: Key roads projects in the basins

Program Project Commonwealth funding Timing
North Australia Roads Program

Upgrades to the Peak Downs Hwy near Moranbah Bowen

$28 million

2021 to 2022

Development Road: Staged Development $23 million 2021
Roads of Strategic Importance

Mount Isa to Rockhampton Corridor Upgrade

$190 million


Townsville to Roma Corridor Upgrade $100 million Planning
Capricorn to Gregory Highway Intersection Upgrade $6.3 million Planning
Regional Economic Enabling Fund

Aramac Road Upgrades

$24 million


Cramsie-Muttaburra Rd $1.87 million 2021

Regulatory data

Studying the environment of the basins and how this might co-exist with a growing gas industry.

Extensive and detailed research will help to understand the potential impacts of and mitigations for new gas and resources developments.

The government has provided funding to gather and analyse environmental data relating to key environmental and geological factors, including flora, fauna and groundwater.

Geoscience Australia and the CSIRO will work with regulators, proponents and communities to establish a common evidence base to inform regulatory approvals. The transparency of this data will give communities greater confidence and trust in the outcomes.

The Australia-wide programs that will conduct this work in the North Bowen and Galilee basins include:

  • CSIRO’s Gas Industry Social and Environmental Research Alliance, worth $13.7 million nationally
  • Geoscience Australia’s environmental baseline studies, worth $14 million.

This knowledge will help governments, industry and communities to evaluate such projects and guide appropriate investments.