An independent report released by the NSW Government today into land access arbitration sets out a positive reform agenda that provides certainty for both natural gas explorers and landholders.
APPEA’s submission to the ‘Land Access Arbitration Review’ headed by Bret Walker called for a fair and enduring arbitration system – one that clarifies timeframes for arbitration while not imposing unreasonable costs on explorers.
APPEA Chief Operating Officer Eastern Australia, Paul Fennelly said, “The recommendations handed down by the independent review deliver a sensible, workable and clear process for arbitration should it ever be required.”
“Arbitration or court action has historically not been used in NSW or in Queensland where a $70 billion industry has been founded on voluntary land access agreements and community support,” adds Fennelly. “However, such reforms provide an additional layer of certainty for all stakeholders and are important if NSW is to start producing its own gas for businesses and households without having to rely on 95% of its supply from other states.”
“The framework accepted by the NSW Government also reflects similar arrangements in Queensland where more than 4600 voluntary land access agreements have been signed between natural gas companies and landholders since 2011,” he said.
Fennelly also said, “Agriculture and gas production are working side-by-side despite misinformation put forward by professional protesters intent on stopping resource production and the growth of jobs and additional income streams for farmers.”
Press Release, August 29, 2014; Image: APPEA