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Australian Environment and Communications Committee says no to Greens’ bill

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LNG Industry,

The Australian Senate’s Environment and Communications Committee has rejected a Greens’ bill, which proposed Commonwealth involvement in the state’s regulation of land access, as well a hydraulic fracturing ban.

Malcolm Roberts, the CEO of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), said: “The gas industry understands that access to private land is a sensitive issue. The industry operates under rigorous state regulation, which requires agreements to be made with land owners before explorers can enter private land. Land owners are entitled to compensation. Exploration is prohibited within set distances of buildings and other improvements.

“The gas industry has more than 5000 access agreements with land owners in Queensland alone. With its relatively small footprint, gas can readily co-exist with other land uses.

“The Committee rightly found that the bill would be ‘unworkable.’

“The Committee also found that the bill would reduce the return to the community from the development of resources owned by the community.

“There is no justification for the Commonwealth to override the power of state and territory governments to regulate access to resources belonging to the States.

“People rightly expect that governments adopt a sensible and science based approach to resource development and that this should deliver benefits to all Australians through significant royalty streams, jobs and investment.

“Such an approach is a key reason why, by decade’s end, the oil and gas industry’s contribution to national GDP is expected to be more than AUS$55 billion per year, while taxes and royalties paid to governments are expected to exceed AUS$13 billion per year.”

Edited from various sources by David Rowlands

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