The Meat and Livestock Authority (MLA) has commissioned independent research into the mining of Coal Seam Gas on livestock properties, and has issued advice to farmers about the potential pifalls of unwittingly entering into a contract with a mining company.
The guidance note aims to provide a basic understanding about CSG operations and the legal framework surrounding them to assist landowners to make the best decisions for themselves if approached by CSG operators. It says that landowners should have a contract that allocates responsibility for managing risk and any adverse outcomes onto the CSG operator. Something the CSG companies are very reluctant to take on. It goes further:
As livestock producers owning rural properties are approached by CSG operators for use of their land for these purposes, it is important that those landowners are aware of the different rights and responsibilities associated with those activities. Contamination of soil, pasture or groundwater could also result in contamination of neighbouring properties as well as livestock which, if then processed and consumed, could breach Australian food standards or importing country requirements for meat. While a landowner may have some recourse against a CSG operator, the landowner may still have primary liability. Environmental regulatory authorities may also exercise statutory powers to impose clean up obligations on the landowner if contamination occurs. These costs may not always be recoverable from the CSG operator under the relevant legislation.
Click the link below to see who entire document. CSG-Operations-on-Livestock-Property_General-information-for-livestock-producers_2014_July_FINAL