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QLD govt to review GasFields

QLD govt to review GasFields

The Queensland Government will undertake a review of the Queensland GasFields Commission.

The GasFields Commission is an independent statutory body established to manage and improve sustainable coexistence between rural landholders, regional communities and the onshore gas industry, and is led by former NFF President John Cotter.

The commission was formally established in July 2013, at a time of rapid development of the CSG to LNG industry.

The Government said that after operating for almost three years, it was “timely” to conduct a review of the GasFields Commission. It has appointed Bob Scott, a former Deputy Director-General in the former Queensland Department of Lands, to lead the review.

The review findings and recommendations will be provided to the Minister for State Development and be used to determine whether the current model works effectively or needs changing to manage disputes between resource companies and landholders, or if an alternative model, such as an independent Resources Ombudsman, is appropriate.

Mr Scott will also undertake targeted stakeholder consultation with landholders, regional chambers of commerce, local governments, industry peak bodies, gas companies and government agencies. Public submissions will also be invited.

Commenting on the announcement, APPEA Queensland Director Chris Lamont said the review had been foreshadowed last year and is timely given the Commission was established three years ago.

“The Queensland GasFields Commission has been highly effective in providing effective information and in promoting coexistence outcomes, this is a key function of the Commission and will continue to be important for both landholders and the gas industry,” Mr Lamont said.

“Today a $70 billion investment in gas projects continues to support thousands of jobs and strengthen Queensland’s economy and is assisting the globe in the transition to a lower carbon future.

“APPEA looks forward to working with Mr Scott and assisting in the review.”

The report and recommendations will be submitted to the Queensland Minister for State Development in mid-2016.