Proposed amendments to be introduced into the Queensland Parliament this week could see unused petroleum wells converted into water bores in future for use by farmers and graziers.
In a media release this morning, National Resources and Mines minister Andrew Cripps said the reforms were based on "common sense" and could represent significant benefits and cost savings for landholders.
“Due to legislative constraints, up until now CSG wells have not been readily transferable for potential use as water bores,” Mr Cripps said.
“If passed, the amendments proposed in the Land, Water and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 will allow landholders to benefit from a sustainable and properly-managed coal seam gas industry.
“Landholders will have ready access to a new water supply without having to pay for a water bore to be drilled.”
Mr Cripps said the conversion amendments would apply to petroleum wells where drilling of the well commenced on or after 1 January 2012.
“A Code of Practice addressing safety and health issues and governing the conversion of wells to water supply bores will be developed by the Department of Natural Resources and Mines,” he said.
In particular the amendments will stipulate:
- who can convert a petroleum well to a water supply bore or water observation bore
- that a qualified petroleum bore driller will sign off on any conversion of a well to a water supply bore
- that safety and environmental matters will be adequately addressed by a new code of practice
"At the moment no one benefits from unutilised petroleum wells on a landholder’s property,” Mr Cripps said.
“These reforms will give landholders ready access to water to support their businesses.”