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Coexistence a talking point at gas conference

An advertisement in a statewide rural publication represents “tangible evidence of successful coexistence” between the gas industry and landholders, according to Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.

The advertisement, with a headline of “Grazing property plus gas well income”, appeared in the Queensland Country Life this week.

“I was buoyed by that (the advertisement), because that for me was a really tangible evidence of successful coexistence when a farmer is selling his property, based on the fact that there is a gas well income that comes with that property – now that is well and truly coexistence,” Dr Lynham said speaking at the Queensland Gas Conference and Exhibition in Brisbane today.

“That is making that property much more attractive to the market.

“Industry must maintain this, developing good community relations at a local level is just the right thing to do. It is crucial to maintaining your social license.”

Dr Lynham also briefly touched on the issue of land access, which has been subject to public debate since the suicide of anti-gas farmer George Bender.

“I have been active in this area, I was in Roma on Saturday, and I met with a whole raft of farmers about CSG issues, land access and exploration issues on properties,” he said.

“And simply being there with them, I learnt an awful lot which I took back to the Department.

“With the famous case that we have heard about in the media, I don’t plan to make any comment on this, but I just want to make the fundamental statement that in legal principles in Australia, the resources belong to the people of Queensland.

“The farmer has certainly the right to utilise the land, but the resources of that land, the mineral resources belong to the people of Queensland and we must have access to those resources so that Queensland and the people of Queensland can prosper, as we have done over many many years with our resources sector.”

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