Friday, 20 June 2014

New bill denies natural justice

Peter Anderson, Central Qld grazier, photo sourced PRA 2014 conference.

The property rights and principles of natural justice of landholders will be severely compromised by certain provisions in the Mineral and Energy Resources Bill tabled in the Qld Parliament on June 5. Quite simply, this Bill just once more pushes the balance even more in favour of the mining companies at the expense of the landholders.

Please click on [this link] to a letter from Glen Martin of Shine Lawyers for a very readable summary of some very worrying aspects of this new bill.

The submission deadline for this new bill is June 30. This is far too short of a time span set in the busy timeframe of the end of the financial year to understand a long, complex new bill and amendments to 5 other existing resources acts.

PRA urges all Queenslanders to contact their local member of parliament, write a letter to the editor and to write a submission to the parliamentary committee [link] if only to say nothing more than that before such sweeping changes are made wide public discussion should be allowed in a time frame more suitable to the length, complexity and grave implications of this new bill.
Newspaper article from the Chinchilla News May 15

George Bender farms in the very productive Hopeland district and this article was published in his local newspaper The Chinchilla News on May 15.

George was concerned about how close coal seam gas infrastructure could be build to his family farm as was outlined in a review the Qld government released in the lead up the very concerning new bill tabled on June 5.

George had every right to be concerned because in the new bill it appears that CSG & mining exploration and then following gasfields and mines will be allowed as close as 200m from
- A residence
- A place of worship
- a childcare centre, hospital or library;
- school
- a cemetery or burial place;
- aquaculture, intensive animal feedlotting, pig keeping or poultry farming

200 metres is the restricted distance; if you own anything that is not in the above list there are no restrictions.

Peter Anderson (photo top of the page) addressed the PRA conference in Roma on June 13, 2014. Peter and his family run a vertically integrated cattle breeding, finishing and feedlot operation at Clermont and Alfa, Central Qld.
In recent times the Anderson family's cattle operation has become threatened by mining lease applications in the Galilee Basin. The concern to the operation in the future is the threat of mining operat...ions to underground water impacts on bores that have sustained their cattle operation for many years, especially in drought when they rely on bores after dams go dry. Attempts to strike meaningful Make Good Agreements with international mining companies that recognises this legitimate concern has seen land holders like us in an untenable situation.

The Anderson's and their neighbours were forced to take their very real concerns to the Land Court were they had a significant win that set good precedents for other landholders. Read more [here] 
If the new Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 is past in its current form the ability for neighbours to object to any new mining or coal seam gas project will not be available. The property rights and principles of natural justice of landowners will be severely compromised by the  proposed changes.

For Those attending the PRA conference it was very evident the personal & emotional toll this battle has had upon Peter due to the stress of not having his issues addressed by the neighbouring Coal Project and the disregarded impacts on their water supply for their cattle and livelihood

Barry Rich with daughter Elyse, photo sourced, Land Court sides with grazier

"The Rich family were among a group of Wandoan landholders who challenged in the Land Court a $7 billion Xstrata mining development on their doorstep because of concerns over dust, noise, odour, vibration and health impacts on cattle and people.

And while his small court victory will see the Xstrata mine pit moved at least 3km from his home, it has been a five-year battle to provide some certainty for Mr Rich's feedlot enterprise."

To read more click on the link in the photo caption.
If the new Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 is past in its current form the ability for neighbours to object to any new mining or coal seam gas project will not be available. The property rights and principles of natural justice of landowners will be severely compromised by the proposed changes.

Neville Stiller, photo sourced, Farmer sick of CSG workers camp
Wandoan district farmer, Neville Stiller, without any consultation had a 600 man workers camp for a QGC gas pipeline built close to his house. Under existing Qld law there is very little consideration given to neighbours to coal seam gas projects.
For more information click on the link in the photo caption
In the new Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill this situation has been rectified. Property Rights Australia supports the advancement of rights afforded to impacts on neighbours outside a resource authority boundary or a property boundary. It is long overdue and should be standard across all policies, regulations and legislation.

However the positives in the bill are overshadowed by new provisions that erode landholders rights.

UPDATE #1 June 21
Good news the parliamentary committee has extended the submission period to Wednesday 9th July.

Please keep sharing this post, the extension only gives a greater time to get submissions in. The parliamentary committee needs to know that some of the provisions in the bill are unreasonable for landholders.



  1. The information below is a cut and paste from the standards for LNG terminals and production.

    Condition number 2 "(LNG ports must be located where LNG vapors from a spill or release cannot affect civilians [2];)" relates to how vapors and spills must NOT be able to affect civilians.

    If these are the standards that are to expected to be adhered to are as stated in the SIGTTO standards for production and shipping, then the very same standards should apply to the source of the very same gas that they are referring to in those standards.

    Why has the Government not covered these standards in their "hundreds of conditions" that they falsely claim to have imposed on the LNG mining at the source.

    Are the people in the gas fields somehow different from the people who live on the coast, in that similar or identical conditions do not apply to protect the people who's properties, lifestyles and livelihoods have been destroyed.

    If the leakages and damaging effects of GSG/LNG that are suffered by the people living in the field were to happen to those living on the coast, the LNG plants would be surely forced to shut down until it could be positively proven that all deleterious effects had been eliminated.

    The people in the field are just as entitled to the safety and peace of mind that people living, working or traveling near where the gas is being processed and shipped.

    There is no fairness or consistency in what the CSG/LNG industry is inflicting on the people aided and abetted by the State and Federal Govts.

    The standards as set out here cannot be adhered to in Gladstone because the LNG plants are situated 45 kms up a narrow winding channel which for much of the way is only 180 mtrs wide and will not even meet the required width standards for the size of the LNG tankers that will be traversing that channel.

    The LNG mob and the Govt probably say that bugga it all, we can't meet the required safety standards in Gladstone as set out by SIGTTO (the organisation that set the standards and the organisation that every LNG company in the world belongs to), then why worry about the dills living in the gas fields.

    SIGTTO LNG Terminal Siting Standards
    Abbreviated Summary

    The LNG industry has a good safety record. Any LNG catastrophe could destroy public confidence in the industry, ending the import of LNG.

    Observing the industry's best practices and standards helps to preserve safety, public confidence, the industry, energy security, and the economy.

    There is no acceptable probability for a catastrophic LNG release [1];
    LNG ports must be located where LNG vapors from a spill or release cannot affect civilians [2];
    LNG ship berths must be far from the ship transit fairway;
    To prevent collision or allision [3] from other vessels;
    To prevent surging and ranging along the LNG pier and jetty that may cause the berthed ship to break its moorings and/or LNG connection;
    Since all other vessels must be considered an ignition source;
    LNG ports must be located where they do not conflict with other waterway uses [4] — now and into the future. [This requires long-range planning for the entire port area prior to committing to a terminal location];
    Long, narrow inland waterways are to be avoided, due to greater navigation risk;
    Waterways containing navigation hazards are to be avoided as LNG ports;
    LNG ports must not be located on the outside curve in the waterway, since other transiting vessels would at some time during their transits be headed directly at the berthed LNG ship;
    Human error potential always exists, so it must be taken into consideration when selecting and designing an LNG port.

    1. Peter, that's some very interest research that you have put together there; some very good points also.

  2. The CSG/LNG debacle has been a farce right from the start. No proper thought or planning was carried out. It was simply done "on the run" without proper consultation with the people or proper forward planning.
    The so called "consultation meetings" that were carried out were just window dressing displaying red herrings to make it look like they were doing the right thing but as we all know now, when the Govt declares a proposal a "project of significance" it is already done and dusted, even before any EIS or other bogus studies are done.
    The "project of significance" tag actually amounts an approval even before the pretense of the approval process is started.

    There should have been no approvals for any stage of the CSG/LNG proposals until an overall study and investigation of the ramifications of the ENTIRE project was going to cause.
    Instead they did it all in smaller bits in an effort to hoodwink the people into believing that the ramifications would be minimal.
    This part of the process was particularly evident in the Gladstone harbour where they broke the dredging programme for the LNG into about 5 different stages, each with an individual approval. Each stage in isolation did not look all that bad but when all was put together it was a massive hit to the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the marine environment in the region with an initial estimate of 55 million cubic mtrs of fill to be dredges from the harbour and dumped into the edge of the Marine Park and into the GBRWHA listed harbour to facilitate the LNG industry..
    For example they claimed that dredging for the LNG did not commence until 2011, but in actual fact dredging started for the facilities on Curtis Island in 2010. They did this to mislead the people the same way that the people were misled by several CSG companies individually lodging their proposals instead of there being an overall lodgement so that the people could see the whole projects for what they were.

    1. ( Part 2. Had to break it into two.)
      As in the Gladstone harbour debacle, they produced "EIS" documents for supposed public comment but piled them all on top of each other at virtually the same time so that nobody other than someone with dozens of staff members would have the resources to go through every one individually.
      Even the Gladstone Council with it's resources could not cope with the volume of material put out at the same time.
      This also happened in the western regions where massive documents were produced to confuse and bewilder the people who are affected.

      The planning on the harbour end was such a shambles with so little real consideration being given to the consequences of having already allocated thousands of hectares for the LNG proposals on the GBRWHA listed Curtis Island and the seaway along the western side of the island, when they suddenly realised that the Airport that had used the same traffic approaches virtually since it had been built could no longer use the traditional visual approaches because there were times when the planes would be flying through a GAS PLUME from the LNG processing plants.
      The result is that the airport now is compelled to install an instrument approach system because the planes will no longer be able to use the visual approach method that they have always used and must now fly a different approach pattern that can only be achieved using the instrument landing system which will cost many tens of millions to install.
      This is just one of the stuff ups that happened on this end where, like the "Toowoomba airport farce" the Govt took airspace away from the Oakey Air base, in our case they took away the airspace from the domestic airport to facilitate the same shambles, the CSG/LNG and now coal.
      There should have been a total overall impact study done from the drilling of the first hole, right through to the transport of the gas out of the harbour and safety procedures should have been the same for every stage of the proposal as well as the impact on every single well drilled, individually, not an overall sham that did not consider every individual well. In fact it did not consider anything other than the greedy LNG companies and God knows what the Politicians are getting out of it for their help in achieving the destruction of so much.

      It is not unreasonable to expect that every individual well should be separately impact studied.
      Farmers have to consider the impact of every well or bore they drill for water so why shouldn't every individual gas well have to do the same.

  3. Minister Burke put 1200 condtions on this industry. Conditions 100C onwards says that Santos has to do a complete soil and water audit by an external auditor after 3 years. Santos has not met these conditions.


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