Land owner rights are dudded
IT’S the change you have when you’re not having a change, or at least that’s how Minister Lynham depicts his amendment of the compensation entitlements for coal seam gas activities – and it’s untrue. Failure to disclose this particular amendment upon introduction of the bill because it is allegedly not a material change, can be reasonably seen as an attempt to avoid scrutiny.
On October 18 Parliament passed the Mineral, Water and Other Legislation Amendment Bill, with the LNP’s support.
The part both parties like to talk about is the numerous fair and sensible amendments emanating from Professor Scott’s Gasfields Commission review. But they try to avoid the issue of owners being stripped of compensation for overall gasfield activities which relate to their land, such as compressor station noise.
So if your property is devalued or rendered effectively unsaleable because of the overall gasfield effects, too bad – according to the amendment supported by both major parties you’re not entitled and never have been entitled to compensation for that loss, even though airborne pollution such as noise, dust, gases and odours generated on other people’s land is often the major reason for loss of value of a gasfield-affected property.
Legally a policy wouldn’t override the legislation anyway, but the Minister and his department claim its always been the government’s policy intent that landholders only be compensated for the impacts of those gasfield activities that are located on their own land.
HEAT’S ON: Minister Anthony Lynham is under scrutiny.