| Pilliga |
| Wollongong |
Woop Woop March |
Aussies Against Fracking
Agreed Principles of NSW Land Access signed!
Negotiated by NSW Farmers,
Santos and Minister Roberts
Agreed Principles of the NSW Coal Seam Gas Land Access Agreement is here
Land Access Principles is silent on listening to community wishes, extending &
honouring the 2km exclusion zones to include smaller villages, and industry
clusters (why isn't tourism an industry cluster?) and paying
for/repairing damage when "mistakes will happen" (quote Chief Scientist)
Loopholes exist in this
principle as AGL owns the land they want to frack at Gloucester but the wells
are only 300m from individual homes, 2km from 50 homes - but those people do not
have any say at all!
AGL & Santos have little to nothing to concede in signing CSG land access deal.
AGL buys up land, Santos gets access to public forest.
A loophole big enough that Metgasco thinks they can drive drill rigs through it
- the landholder who signed up allowing fracking at Bentley doesn't live there.
Surely a residency test could be applied to avoid local farmers suffering from
company buy ups and third party profiteers.
At present we still have not seen what the gas industry
consider "a best practice framework for how explorers can negotiate
access arrangements with landholders".
The Code does not set out mandatory requirements that must be included in an access
arrangement, such as promptly paying any agreed compensation; and ensuring any
information obtained about the landholder’s property or operations is kept
The Land Access Code of Practice does not
strengthen rules for coal seam gas exploration including:
• a hold on exploration and extraction of natural gas within Sydney’s drinking
• 2 km exclusion zones for coal seam gas activities around existing residential
areas and areas zoned as villages
• strengthened planning approval processes including assessments for strategic
agricultural land and aquifer interference policy
Lock The Gate's media release:
Media Release 28th March 2014
Cautious Welcome for Further Baby Steps on Coal Seam Gas
The Lock the Gate Alliance has cautiously welcomed commitments by gas miners
Santos Ltd and AGL to accept the right of landholders to prevent them accessing
their land for gas development, but warns that resolving rural conflict over
invasive gasfields and coal mining requires root and branch reform and legal
Lock the Gate National Coordinator, Phil Laird said, “The right of landholders
to lock their gate to fossil fuel companies is something that is profoundly
important to our members and supporters, so we welcome the news that locking
your gate in some areas in NSW will no longer lead to protracted court battles.
“This commitment from AGL and
Santos, however, is no comfort to our
Queensland members or to communities in the
Northern Rivers facing off against
gas company Metgasco, and cannot be
relied upon unless it is enshrined in law in NSW.
“Much of the conflict in North West NSW and the Northern Rivers region is about
impacts of coal and gas that go far beyond the farm gate. The farmers who have
been arrested in the Pilliga know that
the impacts of Santos’ coal seam gas drilling there could affect the groundwater
that supports the whole region.
“Our message to the Government is this: extend rights and protections not just
to landholders, but to the communities that rely on the health of the land and
the water. Otherwise a gas company can still undermine the safety and security
of landholders by buying high value farming land for coal seam gas extraction,
as AGL has done in the Hunter.
“We welcome this step, but have always been very clear: dealing with coal and
gas requires clear and unambiguous no-go areas for water resources, farmland and
important bushland. It requires root and branch legal reform, and while the NSW
Government has been making some headway, the conflict on the land will continue
while the countryside is offered up without limit to coal and gas mining" he
The Code of Practice for Land Access is contained in amendments to the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013
which was adjourned until 3 March 2014 today.
The draft Code of Practice for Land Access
ensures that during arbitration landholders can access legal representation and
that “reasonable” legal costs are covered by the CSG company.
The NSW Land and Water Commissioner Jock Laurie developed the code with
stakeholders NSW Irrigators,
Cotton Australia and
NSW Farmers Association, CSG
industry body APPEA and government representatives.
Shooters and Fishers
MP Robert Brown criticised the group for failing to “give the farmer the right
to lock the gate” and are on record as saying they will not support the
Bill in it's current form.
Greens mining spokesman Jeremy Buckingham criticised the government for limiting
the public consultation to the code of practice, as opposed to the wider
amendments contained in the Bill, and said it would not reduce the industry’s
impact on farmland.
“Communities across NSW will be gobsmacked
that this Bill has missed the opportunity to provide farmers with a broad legal
right to say 'no' to coal seam gas mining on their properties,”
Lock The Gate said in their press release.
Resources Minister Chris Hartcher has invited comments on the draft code of practice
Written submissions can be emailed to email@example.com.
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