Landowners Should Be Given Right to Determine Access for CSG
13 December 2013 The NSW Irrigators' Council has lodged a submission (here)
with the NSW Government as part of the consultation program on the Code of
Practice for Access Agreements for coal seam gas exploration and operation.
Part of the submission calls for private
landowners to be given the right to determine whether to enter into such
Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Gregson says that the NSW Government has
the opportunity to please most people by agreeing with the major gas operators
and the Prime Minister by allowing private landowners to determine whether they
want to be party to an agreement.
"Despite appearances, there's actually pretty broad consensus on this issue.
The major gas operators say they don't want
to go where they're not welcome, the Federal Government has made the same view
clear and NSW Irrigators Council concurs with both.
Private landholders should have the ability
to decide if they want to enter into an access agreement.
"Where private landholders choose to enter an agreement, we're very pleased with
the work that we've done with the Government to provide them with minimum terms
under the Code of Practice that is currently on public exhibition.
It would be implemented by changes to the
Act due before the Upper House early next year. The Government should take this
opportunity to further amend the Act to give private landholders a choice.
The Council's submission states:
To be characterised as an "Agreement", it must be entered into voluntarily by
NSWIC submits that there should be no
obligation on a private landowner to enter into an access agreement.
That is, the landowner should have the
option to decline to enter into an access agreement at their own discretion.
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