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Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013

In Legislative Council, Awaiting Ministers 2R Speech, Bill set down as an order of the day for a later hour of the sitting, 25/06/2013.

ē Debate adjourned until 3 March 2014

An Act to amend the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 and the Mining Act 1992 with respect to enforcement of those Acts, petroleum titles and authorisations, access to land and payment of royalties for petroleum; and for other purposes.

The PDF of the Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013 is here

Proposed CSG laws must be released immediately for community to assess

November 20, 2013 ∑ Lock the Gate Alliance has called for proposed changes to coal seam gas laws foreshadowed in NSW Parliament last night to be released immediately on public exhibition.

In Parliament last night, Minister Duncan Gay revealed that changes have been proposed to the contentious Petroleum (Onshore) Amendment Bill 2013 as a result of secretive negotiations with selected stakeholders by the NSW Land and Water Commissioner, Jock Laurie. The changes will be introduced as Government amendments to the Bill.

However, the changes have not been released for public comment and the Government has delayed a vote on the changes until March next year, after community opposition escalated over the last week. An associated Land Access Code of Practice has been released and placed on public exhibition for four weeks.

"We're pleased that community opposition over the last week has led the Government to adjourn a vote on this Bill until March next year" said Phil Laird, National Co-ordinator with Lock the Gate Alliance.

"However, given the secrecy surrounding the process led by Land and Water Commissioner Jock Laurie, we are calling for the changes to be released in full immediately and for the Government to institute a formal public exhibition and submission process before it is debated in Parliament.

"We're disappointed that Premier O'Farrell agreed to re-introduce this controversial Bill last night without achieving the 'broad consensus' he promised earlier in the year and without any public process.

"Communities across NSW will be gobsmacked that this Bill has missed the opportunity to provide farmers with a broad legal right to say 'no' to coal seam gas mining on their properties.

"The proposed Bill also contains a number of gaping flaws that take regulation of coal seam gas in NSW backwards.

The Bill will undermine the rights of landowners, including Local Councils, from preventing seismic surveys along roads near residential dwellings and on improved land.

"The Bill will also allow coal seam gas companies to enter farms without the consent of landholders to conduct surveys in order to obtain environmental approvals.

"We thoroughly reject Minister Duncan Gays claims in Parliament last night that this Bill is 'a win for landholders' and we will be calling on members of the Upper House to vote against the Bill unless it's many failings have been addressed" he said.

The object of this Bill is to amend the Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991 (the Petroleum Act), the Mining Act 1992 (the Mining Act) and other Acts as follows:

(a) to increase penalties for offences relating to mining for petroleum without
authority and certain other offences and to revise other offences so that corresponding offences relating to petroleum mining and other mining are in similar terms,

(b) to enable directions relating to compliance with conditions of petroleum titles
and addressing adverse environmental impacts of mining for petroleum to be given and to provide for enforcement of such conditions and appeals against directions,

(c) to provide for audits of prospecting or mining for petroleum,

(d) to extend the legal costs that the holders of mining authorities or petroleum titles must pay for landholders relating to arrangements for access to land and
to make other provision with respect to access to land by holders of petroleum titles and to make other provision with respect to arrangements for access to land,

(e) to make it an offence for the holder of a petroleum title to fail to pay royalty,

(f) to enable the publication of certain environmental information,

(g) to provide for the appointment of, and to confer inspection and other investigation powers equivalent to those conferred under the Mining Act on, inspectors under the Petroleum Act and to provide for permits for entry onto land the subject of a petroleum title in other circumstances,

(h) to insert various offences relating to enforcement of the Petroleum Act and the enforcement of rights under, and conditions of, petroleum titles,

(i) to make existing and new offences relating to the provision of false or misleading information under the Petroleum Act and the Mining Act offences of strict liability,

(j) to insert other provisions relating to offences under the Petroleum Act, consistent with the Mining Act, including provisions about continuing offences, proceedings for offences, enabling orders to be made requiring offenders to make monetary payments and also enabling restraining orders to be made against the property of offenders against whom payment orders are sought,

(k) to provide for the ongoing effect of notices given under the Petroleum Act and the Mining Act and of conditions of petroleum titles, authorisations and permits,

(l) to make other amendments to the Mining Act, consistent with amendments to the Petroleum Act, including the removal of the power to suspend a mining authorisation for contravention of an access arrangement,

(m) to validate certain appointments,

(n) to make other minor and consequential amendments and enact savings and transitional provisions consequent on the enactment of the proposed Act.


NSW Shooters & Fishers tell O'Farrell that his Onshore Petroleum Act changes won't get up

15 Nov 2013 - Shooters and Fishers Party MP, Robert Brown, says the O'Farrell government's amendments to the Onshore Petroleum Act won't get the support of his cross-benches unless there are changes.

Brown says the Shooters and Fishers support individual property rights under both Commonwealth or State law.

"Give the farmers the right to 'lock the gate' but, at the same time, give the farmers the right to access some of the government royalties on the stuff that's under their ground; if the government's going to get five per cent royalties give half to the farmer."

"The farmer could make up his mind whether he wants to take advantage of that offer or whether he wants to just keep farming and keep people off his property," he said.

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