CSG inquiry seeks landholder right of refusal

Independent senator Glenn Lazarus . Photo AAP

Independent senator Glenn Lazarus . Photo AAP

A senate inquiry into the conduct of the unconventional gas industry, headed by independent senator Glenn Lazarus, wants to see the appointment of a federal ombudsman and the enshrined right of landholders to refuse access to miners.

It also recommends free legal assistance and dedicated medical services for those affected by gas mining in its interim report.

Senator Lazarus who, tabled his report in parliament this week, told ABC that farmers ‘want the right to be left alone to work their land in peace, to provide income and provide produce for their family – not have to deal with mining companies coming onto their land and absolutely decimating it.’

He says there should be a royal commission into the human impact of CSG mining.

The recommendations were based on hundreds of submissions, along with public hearings in Narrabri, Dalby and Darwin.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association has unsurprisingly damned the report, saying its recommendations are those of Senator Lazarus alone and not shared by the remaining members of the committee.

But community groups including the Basin Sustainability Alliance have endorsed the report, saying aligned closely with their submissions.

‘The people [at the Dalby hearing] were unanimous in support of the issues that have given rise to these recommendations,’ alliance chairman Leigh McNicol told ABC.

‘So I think that the committee, and all credit to them, have listened to the people and not industry organisations like APPEA.

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