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Resources sector welcomes Qld CSG support

Image shows fuel gas pipeline

Photo by Bloomberg

5th May 2023

By: Esmarie Iannucci

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor: Australasia

     

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PERTH (miningweekly.com) – The resources sector has welcomed the Queensland government’s response to the GasField Commission Queensland (GFCQ) Report into coal seam gas- (CSG-) induced subsidence.

The state government this week said that six of the recommendations by the review would be supported, while the remaining two would be supported in principle, subject to further investigation.

The measures would help to strengthen protections that allow the resources and agriculture sectors to co-exist and would support an expanded role for the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) in providing independent assessment and management of farm scale subsidence.

A new mapping layer has also been added to the Queensland Globe, showing where resources, agricultural and approved or planned renewable energy projects are in relation to one another.

“Resources and agriculture are economic powerhouses of Queensland,” said Resources Minister Scott Stewart.

“We have listened to the community about concerns around CSG-induced subsidence and we are committed to ensuring our coexistence frameworks provide appropriate protections.

“That is why we are supporting six recommendations from the Gasfields Commission Queensland’s report into CSG-induced subsidence and supporting the other two recommendations in principle.

“The new mapping layer on the Queensland Globe launched today also gives greater insights into where resources, renewable energy and agricultural projects are located.

“This was a key action from the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan. I have no doubt that this package will assist the mining, renewable energy and agriculture sectors to go from strength to strength and create thousands of good jobs for Queensland in years to come.”

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) welcomed the state government’s support, with CEO Ian Macfarlane saying the government’s position is a positive step towards a process to manage future risks in onshore gas development relating to subsidence. 

“The resources industry recognises the uncertainty the issue of subsidence has raised among landholders and the eight recommendations of the GFCQ Report will help address these concerns,” Macfarlane said. 

“Industry is supportive of the recommendations, including the need for a clear pathway for assessment, monitoring and mitigation through an agreement process that has an alternative dispute resolution process. We agree further refinement is needed to align this with existing frameworks that deliver coexistence. 

“The implementation of a management framework and expansion of the OGIA functions also has the full support of our industry. 

“What we all agree on is that independent science is critical to achieve and maintain coexistence between the resources sector and agriculture,” Macfarlane said. 

“Queensland’s onshore gas industry is absolutely crucial to Australia’s future domestic supply and producers acknowledge the interests and concerns of all stakeholders must be taken into account as the industry continues to sustainably develop.” 

The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (Appea) on Friday also said that the government’s response provided a stronger policy framework for the industry to engage with landholders.

“The oil and gas industry is one of the most regulated sectors and has a long history of co-existence and consultation with stakeholders,” said acting Queensland director Joshua O’Rourke.

“These reforms are important in continuing this positive relationship between the gas and agricultural sectors in this state.”

O’Rourke said that Appea members had worked constructively with government, the Commission and other stakeholders as part of the consultation process.

“The Queensland government understands the importance of the gas industry, both economically to the state and in the transformation of our energy system to net zero.

“Although there are details still to be worked through, these reforms are a step in the right direction by ensuring strengthened regulatory management to protect landholder interests while gas production continues to deliver much-needed energy supply and economic benefits to Queenslanders.

“In particular, the expansion of the role of the OGIA will ensure independent science will be at the heart of the improved regime.”

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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