Resource development and landholders’ rights: a quick guide

5 Mar 2014

Introduction: The debate over the development of coal seam gas (CSG) in Australia has frequently visited the issue of whether landholders can (or should) control the access of resource developers to the CSG that sits under their land. In Australia, CSG resources of commercial potential are frequently co-located with productive agricultural land, in a thin band along the eastern coast. This co-location can lead to land-use conflict between pastoral and resource interests. On 9 December 2013, Senator Larissa Waters introduced the Landholders’ Right to Refuse (Gas and Coal) Bill 2013, which would give landholders an absolute veto over exploration or production of coal or unconventional gas on their land. (The Bill is substantially similar to Senator Waters’ previous private member’s Bill that lapsed in the 43rd Parliament, except that the previous Bill was restricted to coal seam gas mining activity.) This Quick Guide will examine the current Bill and provide information on the status quo.

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