Saturday, 9 March 2013

Petition against abuse of power by Powerlink

There is occurring a rapid development of coal seam gas fields between Wandoan and Injune. Powerlink is planning to construct a web of high voltage transmission lines and a large power substation and are falsely seeking to designate this as community infrastructure. Landowners are being dealt with by Powerlink in an appalling manner, who are using antiquated laws to negate their responsibility towards landowners for resource sector projects.

The affected landowners have drafted an E- petition with the help of the office of their local state member for the seat of Warrego,  Howard Hobbs, who is included as sponsoring Member on the petition form. To sign you need to a Qld resident but you don't have to be 18; it is only required that you can understand the issue. I ask you to please go to this link sign this petition and to encourage others to sign this petition.

Below is a scanned copy of a newspaper article published Saturday 9th March & written by John Mikkelsen followed by comment by Property Rights Australia chairman, Joanne Rea.

Property Rights Australia president Joanne Rea, a Marlborough district grazier, said that some landowners had as many as a dozen mining, CSG and infrastructure companies all wanting access to their properties.

“They expect landowners to be at their beck and call, interrupting work schedules,” she said.

“Powerlink has added to a long list of companies, some of whom have a high-handed attitude, who are trying to paint landowners as unco-operative simply for trying to make a time to consult which fits their very hectic work schedule, gain more information and negotiate an outcome which causes minimum disruption to their business,” Mrs Rea said.
“Landowners have already won the right in court to have mapped details of where all infrastructure is to be located by CSG companies before they sign any agreement, but Powerlink in some cases, is refusing to give even basic details of where infrastructure will be.
“The fact remains that landowners have already been down the path of little to no consultation, poor access arrangements, inadequate compensation, lack of respect, no interest in being flexible to cater for the needs of a farming or livestock business and reported intimidation. If Powerlink thinks that this is the way to win the best deal for itself, it is mistaken,”
UPDATE #1 Follow up discussion
UPDATE # 2 Article in the Queensland Country Life
UPDATE #3 Letter to the Queensland Country Life 26th March 2013 
DEPUTY Premier Jeff Seeney and gasfields commissioner John Cotter have publically said that there is a problem. Powerlink exposed for misrepresenting the  Lowry v Coordinator General land court judgment to deceive Landowners into believing they weren't entitled to compensation.
 Read More in - Powerlink approach slammed 
 8th August,  Follow up discussion


  1. Cattle producers launch petition against CSG powerlines, from Beef Central, starts with this introduction.
    "When the coal seam gas industry launched into an explosive growth phase in Southern Queensland in the late 2000s, State Government legislation struggled to keep pace with the rapid-rate of expansion.
    With existing mining and land access Acts at the time ill-equipped to deal with the unique nature of on-farm CSG developments, there were numerous reports of landholders being pressured into contracts without adequate legal representation and without sufficient compensation for the true nature of impacts their enterprises were likely to suffer.

    Since that time and a landholder outcry that followed, significant changes have been introduced to shore up the rights of property owners when dealing with CSG developments.

    Those changes have included the introduction of a Land Access Code, the need for formal entry-notices to be used at all stages of a project’s life, and the requirement for “conduct and compensation agreements” to be finalised with landholders before developments can progress.

    However, despite these improvements, some landholders are still finding that not all CSG-related developments are covered by the new protections."

  2. Yes there does seem to be a strong case for having the power supply extensions to service the CSG/LNG industry covered under the same access and codes as apply to the gas developments themselves. Good luck with the petition and attempts to have this recognised.

  3. Powerlink project plays havoc with Ladbrooks' lives published in the Roma newspaper, The Western Star and written by Derek Barry, contains this quote from the local member.
    "Warrego MP Howard Hobbs has sponsored the e-petition and said the 1967 Act gave landholders inadequate protection.
    "The legislation hasn't caught up with the pace of industry," Mr Hobbs said.
    "My view is that this is a private development and should be covered under the Mineral Resources Act."
    Mr Hobbs said he was working with the relevant ministers to get the legislation changed.
    "Landholders should get an on-going payment like those with wells on their properties," he said."

  4. I can only reccommend that anyone who can sign the petition in good conscience do so.

  5. Just signed the petition. Good luck.

  6. Good news, the minister Mark McArdle has agreed to go and talk to the affected landowners. This was reported in the QLD state wide rural publication Qld Country Life (QCL) in an article by Troy Rowling called, Powerlink project sparks concern

    Check out the process that a landowner has to go through to object to what is going on. Reform is needed to how Powerlink is allowed to operate.
    "Once the draft report is released, landholders will be given just 20 days to provide a formal response to the document. They will have to justify any objections to the proposed placement of infrastructure when they have only just learned the proposed placement across their properties.

    According to the CID guidelines which have been in place in the Sustainable Planning Act since 2006, a company applying for CID status is only required by legislation to acknowledge the potential for stakeholder concerns within its initial report.

    Once the initial assessment report is prepared, legislation only commands the company to inform "relevant local governments" and "relevant public sector entities" of its release.

    Any other parties identified in the initial assessment report, which could include everyone from landholders whose property the infrastructure runs through, to conservation groups, do not have to be formally advised of the release of the report.

    The company is merely expected to place a notice on its website and advertisement in the newspaper announcing the report is now available.

    From this point, any impacted stakeholder must prepare a formal written submission detailing concerns over the project, which can be dismissed if not appropriately formatted

    1. It was encouraging to read that prominently placed article in the QCL, Dale, with mention of the online petition.

      As Gary Ladbrook said (as reported in the article): "We need to see our concerns are being taken seriously."

  7. Good follow-up on PRA support in today's Telegraph, Dale. Bit busy now but will scan and forward later. Also another big article comparing resource consultants to supermodels who won't get out of bed for less that $5000 a day, then write glossy reports selling the product/ developments favourable to the companies.

  8. My, I have really only been away for 10 days or so, but you guys and gals are firing up intelligently on a number of issues, with interesting inter - relationships between some of the discussions. (Sorry I missed, and hence duplicated, your post on Allan Savour / Reversing Desertification, Dale).
    Because I am basically (believe me! ;-) a fair minded person with broad interests, I also went and had a look on that "other" site which once was something to admire, and take seriously. Sadly, that was quite some time ago. I learned that NSW now apparently have speed, average speed and redlight cameras, Gee whiz! Also, that the same old tired tired rants (oops, 'exposes' on Agenda 21, the Labor / Greens / very dependent government (Who'd have thought??) are still the order of the day. Maybe by next week, they will have heard about the events of last week? Nah - give it 2 weeks at least. Smoke signalling takes time ;-(
    Cheers, and keep up the good work. al

  9. Haha, good one Al. Maybe the smoke gets in their eyes (gee that sounds familiar to those familiar with the 50's classics :0)

  10. A very good supportive letter was published in this weeks QCL. I have added the scan as an update to the discussion above.
    Back in 2006 another group of landowners were having problems with Powerlink. At that time the landowners were given assurances by parliamentarians then in opposition & now in government that when they were elected with a majority to govern that the law would be reformed.

    [Click here] for an electricity industry newsletter that gives quotes out of the 12th Oct 2006 QCL. It does sound like nothing has changed in how Powerlink operates.
    " "While the meetings have sometimes been informative, they have also been aggressive and threatening, as in terms of 'if this doesn’t work out we’ll just buy you out or move you on'," Rafter said. “That attitude doesn’t make us feel very secure as land holders.""

  11. Good progress in the advancement of better outcomes for landowners faced with the prospect of Powerlink crossing their land.
    DEPUTY Premier Jeff Seeney and gasfields commissioner John Cotter have come out to say publically that there is a problem. To read more go to, Powerlink approach slammed

    A reminder if you haven't signed the petition please do so as it closes on the 8th April.


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