Letters to the Editor

Letter – New laws threaten landholder rights to object to mining

Shirley Doyle, 21/07/2014
I am very concerned that landholders, farmers and small businesses are not hearing about or do not fully understand the dire consequences of legislation before the Newman government.
Under the  new Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 the LNP is trying to bring in legislation to remove landholders rights’ to object to mining. This is will apply in 90% of cases. Only where landholders are directly affected they will have the right to fight the mining proposal in court.
If your property is next door to a mine you won’t be able to object, nor will you be told anything is planned on your doorstep. You won’t be told a noisy CSG compressor and processing plant, or an open cut coal mine is planned next door. You won’t be warned that your water supply will soon be downstream from a toxic dump of salty water. You will have no recourse if the mine contaminates your aquifers or bores. In fact, you will become liable for contaminated produce from produced water you might inadvertently use.
Proposed changes to the Water Act are equally worrying. The Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 already gives miners appalling latitude when it comes to taking groundwater. But the LNP is proposing that coal companies be allowed even more free access to groundwater.  The proposal is to extend the free water that CSG already takes to the coal mines .
With 85 per cent of the State in drought and an El Nino brewing the government is suggesting mining companies should have carte blanche to do whatever they like with water, for free. If we are serious about keeping productive farms, clean water and livelihoods in the Lockyer Valley, Bremer and Brisbane Valleys, we have to fight to protect them now.
Shirley Doyle
Lower Mt Walker,


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  1. Liam O'Dea, 21/07/2014

    Well said Shirley Doyle.
    This legislation is a betrayal of interests of the people who elected it, by a government intent on giving away our resources and and assets to global corporations. What incentives propel them to do this?

  2. Peter Honnef, 21/07/2014

    Mining or any other development where there is a change of land use or any affect on the natural environment has to jump through numerous hoops to gain approval.

    Compensation for the loss of a tangible right is a constitutional right and only for those directly affected by a development, mining or whatever and only if there is a real loss. The intent of compensation is to put the dispossessed owner in the same position, as far as money can, after the resumption which was enjoyed before the right (land) was taken.

    It is always the case that any other surrounding land owner rights are protected by the federal, state and local government checks and balances in place. That does not mean a new mine, road, land subdivision etc will not have an impact/effect on the surrounding areas.

    There are winner and looser when it comes to any major infrastructure project. Take the construction of a new water storage facility as an example. Many farmers lose their land or have it severely reduced. Access to an area can be altered and the negative impact can be massive to those in the locality. But on the other hand the benefit to the public (community) in general is significant and long lasting.

    It is often the case that it is better to reach out and grab the opportunities rather than dwell on what was or might have been. It all depends on what side of the fence you decide to swing you legs from.

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