Newsletter 16th October 2014

Members’ Newsletter

16th October 2014

Petition, restore lost rights
Please consider signing this online petition calling on to reinstate landowner rights lost in the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014.  This petition was prepared by fellow Landowner group Basin Sustainability Alliance who have a home base at Dalby and to date have concentrated on coal seam gas issues.

The petition site, Change, is a platform without an agenda of its own.  People will start a petition there on many topics, many of which there is a good chance you won’t agree with.  If after you sign this petition you get an email asking to sign another one just scroll down the email and at the bottom click on, Unsubscribe.

QCL September 18 Opinion article
Your chairman had an opinion article published in the Qld Country Life about the resources common provisions Bill.  This next link is the same article republished on a blog site together with supporting links that back up the statements made.

Peter Spencer
PRA has been asked to help fundraise for Peter Spencer’s final court case in the Federal Court on November 24.  NFF’s fighting fund did fund the campaign for a couple of years but pulled out at the beginning of this year when the end was within sight.  NFF for the funding applied a media ban and that’s why Spencer appeared to drop out of sight.  On the PRA Facebook page there has begun to be regular posts revisiting old articles so as to refresh people’s memories of the details behind this long running battle for justice.  The following link is to an article written by Peter Spencer in 2007.

Amendments to the Qld Water Act
The proposed amendments were wide ranging so PRA confined its comments mostly to “make good” agreements.  The PRA submission asked for:

  • Baseline testing for a “water monitoring bore” should be a requirement.
  • Water monitoring processes should be transparent, results independently verified and readily available to the public.
  • There should be a parliamentary inquiry into “make good” arrangements which examines their adequacy from the point of view of the landowner with all possible limitations to a fair outcome investigated and remediated. This will require extensive consultation with solicitors who work on behalf of landowners and a recognition given that there will always be room for improvement.
  • There should be no limitations on what matters relating to the water resource that the Land Court can cover

Submissions at the time of writing this newsletter were yet to be on the following web page.  When they are posted a tab labelled Submission will be added to the page.

Strategic Cropping Areas trigger maps

This last week your chairman was asked by QCL to respond to the news from a media event where no less than 3 ministers travelled to near Dalby.  The next link is the resulting article and below is the statement prepared for QCL.

Property Rights Australia cautiously welcomes the announcement by the Qld government of the addition of over 40% to the area in the Strategic Cropping Areas (SCA) trigger map.  It will go a good way to restore the areas mapped by decades of sound soil science in the Good Quality Agriculture Land classification system that the Bligh Labor government removed when it introduced the Strategic Cropping Land Act in 2011.

All matters relating to SCA’s and their assessment has been left to the regulations of the Regional Planning Interests Act.  These regulations are currently before the State Development, Infrastructure and Industry parliamentary committee which is due to deliver its report on October 29.  This latest announcement of improved SCA trigger maps will only be a token gesture if the parliamentary committee in its recommendations does not improve on the draft regulations as requested across the board by all the rural advocacy groups and is also dependent on the minister accepting any improvement in the recommendations.

The potential is certainly there but until the RPI regulations are made public it is an unknown if greater protections will be available and if some balance is restored in the favour of landholders.

The parliamentary committee had previously undertook genuine consultation and with considered deliberation made recommendations that improved on the draft RPI framework legislation.  The Qld government is to be commended in accepting these recommendations to amend and pass the legislation.  In stark contrast the Qld government performed poorly in all aspects surrounding the Mineral & Energy Resources (Common Provisions) bill with a resulting appalling outcome.

PRA supports a viable resources sector and is certainly not against mining but in standing up for the interests of its members PRA is especially interested in where resource activity is carried out and demands fairness to those impacted by resource activity.  The RPI Act and supporting regulation addresses where resource activity is carried out.  Any balance and protection achieved under the RPI will be negated under the M&ER(CP) where impacted landholders have had their rights seriously eroded.

This is the link to the PRA submission to the Regional Planning Interests Regulations


Dale Stiller

Dale Stiller, Chairman

Property Rights Australia

Phone:  07 49213430
Fax:       07 49213870