This paper examines the evaluation of social externalities in regional communities affected by four major coal seam gas (CSG) projects in the Surat Basin region of Southeast Queensland, Australia. Using a mixed-methods approach, cross-sectional survey (n = 428), and structural equation modelling (SEM) the results of this study reveal community perceptions of rising economic inequality, collective sense of uncertainty about the future, and negative impacts on the standard of living in the affected regions. For example the majority of the respondents are concerned about: the rising cost of living in the area (83.4%), the long-term impacts on groundwater (77.4%), and how their community is being affected (77.3%). We found that perceptions of fairness and inequity weigh heavily, especially on farmers, and correlate to negative psychosocial effects. Our analysis shows that unresolved concerns of community residents about environmental and social issues and the loss of confidence in the local government, contribute to lower life-satisfaction, inhibit the community's ability to plan for the future, and lead to a weaker local economy.