|A CSIRO study on the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry affect on agriculture is to be published in Land Use Policy at the end of December. The report concluded the biggest cause of losses to agricultural production was from access tracks and lease areas. The report measured losses to productive land under 24 different scenarios.|
Study author Dr Oswald Marinoni hopes model would be used to influence future practice of CSG industry.
Sample area averages $2.17 million loss over 20 years
Peak body says industry has brought benefits for farmers in many cases
"Coal seam gas mining is a multi-faceted research area, and it requires critical research as it is a new, rapidly expanding industry," Dr Marinoni said.
There are more than 5,000 active CSG wells in Queensland. Estimates are of 20,000 wells by 2030.
Dr Marinoni said "Communities and landowners were worried about regulations for such a new industry, so we focused our research on the economic impacts to the land",Environmental Group Response
The Environmental group Lock the Gate Alliance said the true losses to landholders went deeper.
"This study has estimated the costs and the impacts to the footprint on the land — but doesn't take into account a range of complexities associated with CSG mining," national coordinator Phillip Laird said.
Mr Laird "very much doubts" the compensation paid back to landowners came close to the $2.17 million figure assessed in the study.
"Changes in farm amenity, vehicular traffic, disrupting GPS signals, farm management, land values, erosion, changes in water flows and biosecurity changes are impacts caused by CSG not considered in the model," Mr Laird said.
Shine Lawyers' Peter Shannon who represents many landholders in CSG mining cases said;
"There's a significant imbalance between knowledge and understanding, and if landholders don't get good representation they are taken advantage of."
Dr Marinoni said more research was needed on CSG impacts.
"This model does not assess the impact to groundwater, greenhouse gas emissions, or socioeconomic impacts," he said.
The , the country's peak body representing the industry, said CSG companies owned some of the land that was used in the study.Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Response
"The study area includes several farms but it's important to note the area also covers treatment plants, lay down areas, camps, etc, on company owned land. The CSIRO research in no way suggests landholders in the study area are not adequately compensated," Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) chief executive Dr Malcolm Roberts said.
Also from Dr. Roberts
"It is worth noting that gas companies have paid more than $238 million in compensation to Queensland landholders over the past five years." "Farmers gain a stable source of drought-proof income, access to new sources or water for irrigation and livestock, improved roads," he said.
Source of stable income
"Farmers gain a stable source of drought-proof income, access to new sources or water for irrigation and livestock, improved roads," he said.
Its worth noting that the study also cautioned estimated losses to gross revenues must not be equated to compensation payments.
"Compensation will have to account for a whole range of additional impacts of CSG on farming operations."
Read More at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-16/coal-seam-gas-mining-costs-farmers-millions-csiro-study-finds/8124834From the Traders Community News Desk