by Kerry Ladbrook
Photo: Wandoan South sub station
How do Powerlink Qld and many of the Coal Seam Gas Companies recognise landholder’s time impacted by their projects in order for these corporations to meet deadlines? They don’t, but under legislation landholders must engage with them.
How do Government Corporations such as Powerlink Qld recognise their employees meeting deadlines? By paying Staff Performance Pay Bonuses and allowing them to share in a Gainsharing Pool of money if their projects come in under budget.
In the North West Surat Basin, there has been more “give” than “take” by landholders impacted by a web of high voltage transmission powerlines for the sole benefit of the coal seam gas companies. Powerlink Qld is undertaking these contracts ignoring landholder input into the proposed study corridors in planning for this infrastructure. Due to inappropriate locations, time wasted by Powerlink employees has been enormous and costly to the Qld Government, CSG and Rural industries.
While Powerlink employees continue to be paid for their mistakes, landholders have to endure even greater impacts upon their time. Farmers are running a business and should not be placed in the position of de facto charities for the benefit of multinational companies.
Time impacts on our business equates to two days per week since first engagement with Powerlink 16 months ago with agreement yet to be reached. How many family businesses can afford to carry this type of impact without recompense?
The Community Designation Process that Powerlink Qld is allowed to follow is highly pressurised and with less rights than CSG legislation as it comes under the Acquisition of Land Act 1967.
It’s more than time that landholder’s time is recognised. The Queensland government needs to look to positive legislative change for landholders. Recognition of landholder time as separate to other compensation needs to occur.
Allowing for full cost recovery will result in a greater willingness to address issues from the outset.
First published as a Letter to the Editor in various rural newspapers.