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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Poll supports farmers’ ‘right to say no’

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All fired up: former magistrate fumes at news of the world

How does one react to news of environmental vandalism, rampant domestic violence and mutilation of women without anger or distress?

Chris Dobney

A report by Essential Research, released yesterday, shows an overwhelming 86 per cent of people support the right of landholders to refuse access to their land by mining companies.

The support is high among supporters of all parties, with Greens voters giving 90 per cent support and coalition voters second with 87 per cent support. Labor voters were not far behind on 82 per cent.

The results will be good news for the Greens, whose Petroleum Amendment Bill is set to be debated in the NSW upper house this week.

NSW Greens MP and mining spokesperson Jeremy Buckingham said, ‘86 per cent of people rarely agree on anything, so the fact that such an overwhelming majority believe landholders should have the right to lock the gate to mining and gas companies is highly significant.’

Support was slightly higher in the regions than in Sydney (88 per cent versus 85 per cent) and slightly higher among female than male voters (90 per cent versus 82 per cent). Older voters were also more likely to support the move than their more youthful counterparts but amongst all groups support never fell below 77 per cent.

Both the ALP and the Nationals federal candidates in the region have been sparring over who has the better anti-CSG credentials in the lead-up to the election. The legislation will give their state counterparts the chance to put their money where their mouth is on the issue of mining.

‘All sides of politics will have the chance to vote on the Lock the Gate laws and give landholders the right to refuse an access agreement in the Legislative Council this week,’ Mr Buckingham said.

‘The law currently facilitates mining companies taking landholders into compulsory arbitration to force access within 56 days of giving initial notice, and the mining company can also deny a landholder legal counsel during the arbitration process.

‘The current land access laws are grossly weighted in favour of the mining companies and this is widely acknowledged by the public with only 3 per cent of respondents in the poll saying they strongly support mining companies accessing land without the agreement of the landholder.’


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  1. The underlying problem for landholders is that the “Crown” ( whatever that is- Crown Corporation of the “City of London” ? ) owns everything below the surface of the land. State GovCo is bankrupt, as are most governments. Debt decides what they are going to do. Gas is just another “Crown” asset that it needs to pay its bills ( and make a profit ? ). So the odds of allowing “surface of land” owners to block access are very small. That is consistent with the current legislation favouring mining activity. When Parliament no longer listens to the people it is not “of the people”. So we need to ask “What is it ?” and “What are we paying Mps for?”

  2. I’m truly astonished that anyone voting for the Greens could, with any conscience, do anything other than wholeheartedly support the right of landholders to refuse access to their land by mining companies.

    Residents who desperately want to keep Coal Seam Gas and all that it entails away from their land, water, air and food are simply protecting what they hold dear from what remains a highly contentious industry. That 10% of Greens voters believe that it is ok for CSG companies to bulldoze their way onto private land is surprising, and a little disturbing, as it seems to suggest that these 10% actually view CSG as a ‘green’ option.

    Being Green isn’t always easy, but does it ever stop being about environmental protection?

  3. It’s time Mr Abbot walked the talk on this one. Talk is cheap. He said he thinks farmers should have to right to say no, then won’t support Green amendments that would achieve this. Maybe that huge pile of political donations from resource companies gets in the way…

  4. Why did the old parties, labor, nationals and liberal not vote in the Greens Bills before the Federal parliament on 17 June 2013, which would have allowed landowners to refuse CSG mining on their land ? Not much use, Janelle Saffin and Kevin Hogan having nice petitions at your markets stalls about CSG- when you vote against landowners rights. Those petitions are more useful as toilet paper.


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