Coal Seam Gas and the Standard Conduct and Compensation Agreement

9th November 20109th November 2010
Attention Members Update
Coal Seam Gas and the Standard Conduct and Compensation Agreement.
Now that the Federal Government has given the Coal Seam Gas Industry a tick of approval with conditions it will be full steam ahead to get as many landowners to grant concessions as possible.  We urge extreme caution with each landowner deciding their level of cooperation.
As in the Veg Management debacle we run the risk of landowners’ personal wealth being redistributed to other sections of the community, some to overseas shareholders.
PRA’s advice to landowners is to proceed with extreme caution and use all the advice available from lawyers and accountants as all the expense involved is recoverable.
The tenement holder who has purchased the community held interest in what’s under your land must fully compensate you for every aspect of the disturbance to your prior surface rights.  The result must be your equity intact with an upfront and ongoing indexed compensation for disturbance.  Ideally there should be no financial penalty for owning land with a coal seam gas tenement and as little as possible amenity disturbance.
Full disclosures of levels of development need to occur with any escalation of activities subject to negotiation.
The government uses the precautionary principle to stop developments on northern Wild Rivers with consequent reduced opportunities for indigenous employment but won’t stop a very real threat to the integrity of the artesian basin.  At the very least the water balance must be preserved.  Water out must equal water reinjected.
“Make good provisions” for water supplies irreparably damaged would seem to be impossible to deliver except in exceptional circumstances.
Meanwhile it is perfectly understandable farmers contemplating land permanently damaged for food production by relatively short term coal seam gas extraction, taking whatever actions deemed necessary to highlight that prospect, including a peaceful non-cooperation campaign.
PRA believes that if the two industries can’t coexist on prime agricultural land, the prior rights of agriculture must prevail.
We support Agforce’s call for a moratorium.
Ron Bahnisch
 Ron Bahnisch
Property Rights Australia Inc.