Senate Select Committee on Unconventional Gas Mining
P&E Law welcomed the Senate Select Committee on Unconventional Gas Mining and made a submission setting out a number of our concerns including:
- Give landowners the right to refuse CSG mining on their land.
- Impose statutory obligations on CSG companies to disclose relevant information to landowners negotiating CCAs including:
- Noise modelling
- Dust modelling
- Development plans identifying proposed future infrastructure
- Weed and water baseline studies
- Surface and groundwater baseline studies
- Management plans, including rehabilitation plans, soil management plans, weed management plans etc.
- Reverse the proposal to allow “opt out agreements” whereby CSG companies approach landowners to “Opt Out” of the statutory framework for CSG mining, avoiding many of the statutory protections in place;
- Abandon the Queensland government’s proposed change to do away with the “600m rule” preventing exploration within 600m of a landowners’ residence without their consent.
- Create a statutory obligation on CSG companies to recommend to landowners that they seek independent advice prior to entering agreements.
- Expand a landowner’s right to compensation to include reasonably incurred fees for expert advice, including agronomist, noise experts and hydrogeologists comparable to landowner’s rights when their land is being compulsorily acquired.
- CSG companies should maintain environmental liability insurance.
- Provide a statutory right to terminate a CCA in the event of a material breach.
- Commission further research into the long terms impacts on the Great Artesian Basin due to the dewatering of aquifers in Queensland and other parts of Australia.
- Investigate and enforce compliance with environmental authority conditions.
- Require real-time monitoring of noise levels at sensitive receptors while activities are being undertaken in case there is a breach.