Senate debates

Wednesday, 9 July 2014


Coal Seam Gas

3:43 pm

Photo of Mitch FifieldMitch Fifield (Victoria, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Social Services) Share this | Hansard source

The government does not support this motion. The government supports the responsible development of resources based on scientific evidence with the involvement of local communities and appropriate environmental safeguards. We have long held the view that the development of resources should occur under three coexistence principles: that there is no long-term damage to underground water supplies, that agricultural production is not permanently impaired and that access to prime agricultural land should only occur with the farmer's agreement. Landholders' rights should be respected if they do not wish their land to be used for exploration or the production of gas. Equal respect should be given to those landholders who do choose to allow their land to be used for exploration or the production of gas. They should have the right to say yes without their privacy and their safety being impacted.

The best outcomes can be achieved where resource companies work cooperatively with landholders to negotiate land access agreements that allow for the development of the resources while still protecting the interests of farmers and the productivity of prime agricultural land. The Australian government supports an evidence based regulatory framework and a commitment to leading practice by industry so the focus can be on developing a world-class industry while also protecting the environment. (Time expired)


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