Senate kills bill letting owners say no to CSG on their land

A SENATE committee has rejected a bill by the Greens to give landholders the right to say no to coal seam gas operations on their land.

The bill, introduced by Queensland Senator Larissa Waters, aimed to create national laws to govern the use of CSG and coal resources, despite such issues long being a state government responsibility.

It would have also banned the use of hydraulic fracturing techniques in some highly valuable agricultural land, such as the Darling Downs and Liverpool Plains.

After more than 370 submissions, the Senate Environment and Communications Committee rejected the bill yesterday.

The committee wrote that landholders and the interests of future generations needed to be protected, but that Labor and Coalition senators fundamentally disagreed with the bill's approach.

In its report, it wrote the Greens bill was "an excessive and unworkable response to concerns that landholders may have about gas and coal activities".

The committee was also concerned the bill could create what was "essentially akin to a private ownership scheme for certain resources" by giving landholders the final say on projects, rather than state governments.

While the gas industry backed the committee's decision to reject the bill, Sen Waters hit back in her own dissenting report.

She wrote the committee was endorsing "the Liberal-National government's head-long rush to expand the unconventional gas industry even further".

"It is clear which side the Liberal-National government has chosen - the gas companies," she wrote.

The rejection of the bill came on the same day as a new report found the CSG industry in Queensland was the major driver of rising electricity demand across the nation in the year to September.

The latest Carbon Emissions Index report showed demand was flat in most states, but rose nationally because of "the use of electricity in the production and pipeline transport of coal seam gas to the LNG plants at Gladstone".

It found demand in all other states was flat, falling, or rose only slightly.



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