Thursday, 14 August 2014

Powerlink may listen; but do they hear

By Kerry Ladbrook
First published as a letter to the editor, Queensland country Life August 14 2014
Hear No Evil Foundation Sticker
Image sourced [here]

Reading the CEO of Powerlink Qld Merryn York’s Letter(QCL 31st July 2014), I must agree Powerlink do listen but do they hear?
As a directly impacted landholder by PQ development and a Board Member for Property Rights Australia, I hear many things both current and in the past on the antics of PQ and the outcomes.
It is fortunate for Powerlink the Woodduck Landholder Group’s independent inquiry by McCullough- Robertson  Lawyers(QCL 24th July 2014), did not expand into the entire affected North West Surat Basin.  The inquiry would have been more reflective of Powerlink Qld’s pressured and often dishonest consultation practises commonly used in their process.

Jump back in time and there are stories eerily similar to Woodduck where landholders  with powerlines already constructed  are continuing to be ignored by PQ for appropriate compensation payment.

The Acquisition of Land Act 1967 encourages this type of arrogant behaviour when resuming land and easements.   Resumption for commercial activity must be negotiated on a commercial basis with negotiated landholder access(S15 Resumption),  not as compulsory acquisition . Landholders are reluctant sellers and should be compensated as such.  Annual payments should be mandatory, not associated with the dangling of a carrot as is currently occurring with Santos and Origin.

PRA hear continual trouble with the ALA 1967 beyond Powerlink’s activity in the NW Surat basin; Sunshine Coast with Powerlink & SEQ Water/The Ipswich Motorway with Main Roads/ the Gallilee Basin with Rail corridors and  which will also have future development from Powerlink. 

Merryn York, consultation requires much more than just listening and no amount of external reviews will address this unless PQ can be trusted and made responsible for what they say and agree to.  People should not be going through such a difficult process to find a fair outcome.

Ideally Government Owned Corporation Shareholding Ministers Seeney, McArdle & Nichol need to implement changes for which ministerial designation must occur under the Sustainable Planning Act that is more rigorous  than that just the timely supply of infrastructure, in addition to improving the process of deriving a Conduct & Compensation Agreement (CCA) for the project.

As an urgent first step, where the project is for private profit, the State Government needs to at least implement a change to the ALA to ensure that landholders can negotiate both access conditions and compensation(CCA)  in a similar way to the P&G Act, and as a requirement before the Notice of Intention to Resume (NIR) is issued.
Previously published related articles


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