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Abbott challenges Newman and O'Farrell on farmers' right to say no to mining

Federal Coalition leader Tony Abbott made clear on radio this morning that a federal Coalition government would support a landowner's right to say no to mining on their land.

This laid out a very clear challenge for state premiers in Queensland and New South Wales to bring legislation to their parliaments giving landowners the right to say no to mining companies demanding access to their land.

Speaking on Alan Jones' 2GB radio program this morning, Mr Abbott made an unequivocal commitment, on behalf of the Coalition, to support landowners' right to say no.

At present, landowners in both states are obliged to negotiate terms of access to mining companies and, if they refuse, could be taken to court and fined, in Queensland's case up to $50,000.

Lock the Gate Alliance president, Drew Hutton, said this inequitable situation was intolerable and needed to be set right immediately.

"Mr Abbott is the leader of the conservative parties in the federal parliament and he has given the lead to his conservative counterparts in Queensland and New South Wales.

"Mr Newman and Mr O'Farrell should immediately order amendments to the relevant pieces of legislation ensuring this should happen.

"Landowners, in both New South Wales and Queensland, are currently being bullied and threatened with court by coal and coal seam gas companies. They don't want the companies on their land but they are also concerned they will be breaking the law if they refuse them access.

"Mr Abbott is not likely to be heading the federal government any time before September so it should be the state premiers who take responsibility for righting this great wrong," Mr Hutton said.

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