The Lock the Gate Alliance has welcomed the Government’s pledge to implement all of the 32 recommendations from the Walker review of the arbitration process for land access by mining companies, though it falls short of giving landholders the right to refuse access.
Lock the Gate National Coordinator, Phil Laird said, "The outcomes of this review are a solid start in restoring balance in regional New South Wales.
"Mining companies have for too long been able to throw their weight around and drive landholders to financial and emotional ruin through the arbitration process. We congratulate Minister Roberts on appointing Bret Walker SC to this review, it was a well-run process, and many of these recommendations will improve the regime immensely.
"The delay in implementing these recommendations is a cause of some concern, though. We have a State Election coming in March and we’ve seen before the kind of poor outcomes that result when policy intentions are announced long before they are implemented.
"Every mining company in the state will be bullying landholders into the old process now, in anticipation of the fairer system being brought in at a later date.
"The review has shown that the system is broken, and there are people now still struggling with the burden of the current system. In light of these findings, all arbitration should be suspended until the new process is in place, to protect landholders."