Agency wants to help landowners assess CSG company offers

FEEDBACK is being sought on a draft compensation model aimed at helping landholders assess proposals from coal seam gas companies.

The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal is proposing a model that allows landholders to estimate compensation benchmarks using information that is specific to their circumstances.

"Compensation depends on the individual circumstances of the landholder and the proposed activities of the gas company - both of which are highly variable and site-specific," IPART chairman Dr Peter Boxall said.

"As such, rather than setting dollar benchmarks, we are proposing a model that assists landholders to assess an offer of compensation made by a gas company in relation to their own circumstances, supplemented with professional advice as required."

As part of the NSW Gas Plan, the government asked IPART to develop a framework for setting benchmark compensation rates as a guide for landholders negotiating land access agreements with CSG companies.

The granting of licences, environmental controls, extraction techniques and the impacts of gas development on local communities are outside the scope of the review.

Dr Boxall said IPART would recommend compensation for neighbours should only be required if there was agreement that impacts, such as noise or operating hours, might exceed reasonable levels set out in environmental or planning approvals.

Submissions about the model; the report's proposals about funding negotiation workshops and establishing a voluntary public register of compensation payments; and whether incentive payments to landholders should be funded by gas companies as part of their compensation arrangements will be accepted until October 30.

To make a submission go to ipart.nsw.gov.au.

IPART will provide final recommendations to the minister by the end of November.

- APN NEWSDESK



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