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Grower CSG rights clarified by Gasfields Commission

1st October 2013 - Cotton Australia - Queensland’s Gasfields Commission has clarified rights for growers potentially affected by mining and/or coal seam gas (CSG) operations, after enquiries made by Cotton Australia.

Cotton Australia asked the Gasfields Commission to clarify make good provisions - specifically whether liability for water quality and quality existed in perpetuity with either the mining / CSG proponent or government. The Commission clarified that the mining / CSG proponent is liable. Unfortunately, once agreement has been struck there is no further recourse available for growers.

The Department of Environment & Heritage Protection is in the process of completing a fact sheet on make good provisions, and Cotton Australia will distribute this when it becomes available.

Cotton Australia also queried the Commission about Conduct & Compensation Agreements (CCA), particularly as they applied to directional drilling (ie horizontal drilling begun from a site which accesses resources under adjacent properties). The Commission clarified that CCAs only apply to surface issues.

However, where drilling activity creates a compensatable effect on a neighbouring property, that landowner may seek compensation from the petroleum authority holder (after establishing the compensatable effect).

Cotton Australia’s Mining & CSG Policy Officer- Sahil Prasad will continue to lobby on behalf of growers on these issues over the next year.

The above media release by Cotton Australia is published in full
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Water Users Offer to Break CSG Deadlock

4 October 2013 - Cotton Australia and the New South Wales Irrigators Council are seeking a meeting with Premier Barry O'Farrell to offer solutions on coal seam gas in the State.

Irrigators Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Gregson says that agricultural water users were greatly disappointed with new planning structures announced this week, but that solutions remain available.

"In a meeting earlier this year, the Premier asked us to come up with solutions and to keep talking to them. Whilst the process announced this week simply isn't acceptable, we have developed solutions and we don't believe it is too late to incorporate them.

Sahil Prasad, Policy Officer for Coal Seam Gas and Mining at Cotton Australia, says significant exclusions zone have been established in the newly released process but that they don't apply to agricultural water users in the main.

"If you live in a town, breed horses or grow wine in the Hunter Valley, the new process has catered to at least some of your demands. If you irrigate crops across NSW, though, you're still faced with significant problems from mines and gas.

The groups are seeking comprehensive baseline data on water and soil; critical industry cluster status for irrigation farms; and fulfilment of an election commitment to introduce a binding Aquifer Interference Regulation providing capacity for the Minister for Water to protect water resources absolutely.

A three page position paper (here) from NSWIC provides further details.

"We recognise a need for the NSW Government to balance competing demands. We believe that our three requirements will provide a strong, sustainable and fair basis for agriculture, mining and gas to move forward. At the same time, we'll offer the Premier a compromise in the meeting - accept any two and we can all move forward"

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The editors of Coal-Seam-Gas.com advise that this website is encouraging all political parties to contribute, especially if their policies place the health, well-being and rights of citizens ahead of mining profits.

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The editors of Coal-Seam-Gas.com advise that this website is encouraging all political parties to contribute, especially if their policies place the health, well-being and rights of citizens ahead of mining profits.

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