The Government’s proposed amendments to the Minerals and Energy Act will not protect landholders from the environmental impacts of gas mining because they do not mandate that gas companies hold insurance designed to protect farmers and their businesses, according to Lock the Gate.
“The proposed amendments put up by the QLD Government miss the point when it comes to protecting landholder interests,” said Lock the Gate spokesperson Phil Laird.
“The only real way to protect farmers’ interests is to require that gas companies hold insurance. They need cover for physical damage to property, both above and below ground; loss of accreditation; contamination of livestock and interruption to or contamination of surface and groundwater.
“Without comprehensive environmental insurance, landholders will still be severely impacted in the event of impacts to ground and surface water from the toxic chemicals used in fracking. None of these amendments seriously address protecting landholder interests.
“There have been repeated attempts to engage the Minister in a discussion about the need to mandate gas companies hold the necessary insurance to protect landholders and the environment.
“The Minister has not engaged with Lock the Gate on this issue or made a serious attempt to consider mandating insurance.
“Mandating that gas companies hold the necessary insurance to cover these impacts is a simple, efficient and effective way of protecting landholders. Yet the Government has resisted implementing this solution.
“Yet again the Palaszczuk Government has backed the resources sector over the interests of farmers and rural residents.
“In the absence of the Minister’s willingness to engage, we will be making strong representations to the Committee scrutinising these amendments on behalf of our rural members and Queensland landholders more broadly. If the Government won’t stick up for farmers, Lock the Gate will,” Mr Laird concluded.