Thursday, 5 March 2015
Coal Seam Gas
That the Senate—
(a) notes that:
(i) the Victorian National Party announced in February 2015 that they 'support landowners having the right to say no to coal seam gas extraction activity on their land',
(ii) the National, Liberal and Labor parties voted down the Greens' Landholders' Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill 2013 in March 2014, a bill which would have given landholders the right to say no to coal seam gas extraction activity on their land, and
(b) the Greens re-introduced the Landholders' Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill on 4 March 2015; and
(b) agrees that landowners anywhere in Australia should have the right to say no to coal seam gas extraction activity on their land.
The development of onshore resources is primarily an issue for the relevant state or territory. The Australian government meets its obligations under the EPBC Act. This government supports the responsible development of resources based on scientific evidence, with the involvement of local communities and appropriate environmental safeguards. This government has always been clear about its three principles for the development of resources. These are that access to agricultural land should only be done with the farmers' agreement and that farmers should be fairly compensated, that there must be no long-term damage to water resources used for agriculture and local communities and that prime agricultural land and quality water resources must not e compromised for future generations. In practice companies do not enter land without the agreement of the farmer or landholder. The best outcomes can be achieved where resource companies work cooperatively with landholders to negotiate land access agreements that balance all interests.
The Senate divided [12:01]
(Deputy President—Senator Marshall)