No disadvantage principle
Property Rights Australia calls on all party leaders and independent candidates in the upcoming Queensland election to commit to one simple, straight forward principle that each and every landowner or regional community should experience “No Disadvantage” due to the resources industry or resource infrastructure.
Property Rights Australia chairman Dale Stiller stated that, “Landowners should not be subsidising mining, coal seam gas projects and associated infrastructure which is exactly what is happening when negative impacts on landowners and communities are not being recognised, not compensated for or no priority given over resource activity when there is no current solution to unrepairable damage to things of fundamental value such as the very small percentage of high quality soils. The ability of the productive capacity of the land should not be impaired nor impacts to enjoy prior amenity of life residing on that land be left not resolved.”
“All parties and candidates must commit to and govern by the simple No Disadvantage principle in the next parliament when it enacts policy and introduces legislation, “said Mr Stiller, “A simple no disadvantage principle, enshrined in legislation, would ensure that all Queenslanders can enjoy the resources boom, with no losers, no victims and the present unresolved palpable resentment defused.”
“Most landowners accept that the resource industries are necessary, however with significant issues unresolved farming families simply loathe the fact that they are currently subsidising the resource sector. “
PRA believes that committing to the No Disadvantage principle provides a positive solution, a rule of thumb to progress all of Queensland into the future. While there may be some within political parties that may wish to dispute what has occurred in the past, it is important that all of the population is informed and lessons are learnt from past mistakes.
“The last two governments have failed the No Disadvantage test”, said PRA chairman Dale Stiller, “not only in the term of the current Newman LNP government, but also in the prior Beattie and Bligh ALP governments, it has been regional landowners and communities that bore the full brunt of the mining boom, and the unseemly haste to which the coal seam gas industry was steamrolled out”, said Mr Stiller
The impacts landowners have suffered have been largely ignored in the larger cities and coastal areas where the majority of the electorates are. For these urban electorates regarding the resource activity that is occurring in rural and regional Queensland, the only news that they receive is about jobs, royalties to help the budget and creating an economic powerhouse for Queensland. Debate is often based on environmental issues and rarely are adverse changes for regional landowners and communities mentioned.
“The lack of awareness to major impacts that are very real to the people living where resource activity is occurring is extremely frustrating”, said Mr Stiller. “The debate is conducted as if it is a Terra Nullius ‘out there’ while, especially in the coal seam gas industry, it is sprawling invasively across the landscape, where farming families are endeavouring to produce food and fibre to help feed and clothe the people of this Nation”.
Property Rights Australia recently produced this incomplete list of what landowners have been subjected to:
Non-disclosure of information; isolate, divide & conquer; contrived bluffs; strategized and pressured negotiations; limited and miserly compensation; landowners time uncompensated both before and after a CCA is signed; blatant wasting of landowner's time; stress; complete disregard and disinterest in how agricultural management systems can work in with a gas field; the co-existence myth; gates open; weeds; loss of underground water; no solution for a mountain of salt and other contaminants brought to the surface; loss of amenity of living including privacy; roads destroyed; dust; noise; sense of community lost; liability from contamination unresolved; uncompensated diminution of property value; unsaleable properties; non-compliance to signed agreements.
Governments must govern for all. The Newman government systematically made significant legislative changes to numerous Acts that have severely reduced the rights of landowners for the benefit of miners.
PRA calls on Premier Campbell Newman (LNP), Annastacia Palaszczuk (ALP), John Bjelke-Petersen (PUP), Rob Katter (KAP), Penny Allman-Payne, convenor (Qld Greens) and all Independent candidates in the Queensland election to commit to the “No Disadvantage” principle.