New ‘umpire’ features in gasfields revamp

An independent ombudsman is to be appointed to work with Queensland landholders and gas companies on coal seam gas industry issues.

State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said the new land access ombudsman was a central element of a revamp of the state’s Gasfields Commission and CSG dispute resolution system.

Former Queensland Farmers’ Federation boss Ruth Wade will head the new-look commission, which will have a new focus after three years of operation on the gasfields.

“Our multi-billion-dollar agriculture and LNG industries need to continue to co-exist in and around our regional communities,” Dr Lynham said.

“The new ombudsman will give landholders a trusted and independent decision maker to resolve issues before they escalate into full blown legal disputes.

‘As well, a more streamlined dispute resolution will be more cost-effective and efficient.                    

“Government will work with stakeholders, including the recently appointed President of the Land Court, to finalise legislative and regulatory changes to make this happen. 

“Our other reforms to the Gasfields Commission will allow it to continue the work of building sustainable coexistence, but with what is now an ongoing and mature industry.”

New chair Ruth Wade has more than 25 years’ experience in agriculture and business. She will be joined by Theodore cotton farmer Fleur Anderson, a passionate advocate for rural communities and small businesses. Current commissioners Ian Hayllor and Rick Wilkinson were reappointed.

Dr Lynham thanked the Gasfields Commission’s outgoing chairman John Cotter and the commissioners who had worked hard to establish the Commission since its inception in 2013.

“Their efforts over the past three years have been instrumental in the growth of the onshore gas industry in very challenging circumstances,” he said.

“Local workers are benefiting from the jobs, local businesses from the direct investment by the companies, and the royalty stream will support the state’s schools, hospitals and essential services for decades to come.”

The revamp follows an independent review by retired Land Court member Bob Scott, who interviewed more than 80 stakeholders including landholders, peak producer groups, industry, industry peak bodies, government agencies, local governments and community groups.

The new-look commission will:

  • reduce to one chair and three part-time commissioners
  • improve the information that is available to landholders
  • set up a community reference group to focus on health and wellbeing concerns for residents and their families in areas such as the Tara Estates.
  • work with the various agencies in the CSG industry to clarify their responsibilities and how they respond to inquiries and complaints.

The review report and the government’s response are available online at

More Articles

New Vegetation Management Laws

On 3 May 2018, the Queensland government delivered on one of its major election promises by passing the Vegetation Management and Other legislation Amendment Act 2018 (Qld) (“the Amendment Act”). The Amendment Act restricts the rights of farmers to...

Read More

Getting landholders back onto the land

AS RURAL land values improve and cattle and feed prices follow the lead, Queensland’s rural property scene is now the new hot topic.  Everyone seems to have an opinion, and wants in on it. From powerlines and highways, to solar farms and railwa...

Read More

Beef Week 2018

Emanate Legal out in force attending Beef Australia 2018 ...

Read More

Research and development investment underpins continued growth of Queensland’s agricultural sector

The Palaszczuk Government continues investments into research and development to underpin the record growth in Queensland’s $19.95 billion agriculture sector Acting Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries, Leeanne Enoch said the government invested over $...

Read More

Queensland’s agricultural sector closes in on $20 billion mark

Queensland’s agriculture, fisheries and forestry production has now almost reached the record level of $20 billion for the 16/17 financial year. Acting Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries and Minister for Regional Economic Development Leeanne Enoch sa...

Read More

Underground coal gasification now prohibited in Queensland

A ban on underground coal gasification (UCG) in Queensland is now the letter of the law, following the successful passage of legislation in Parliament today. Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham said while creating jobs for regional Queenslan...

Read More

Bill brings certainty to landholders, resources industry

New legislation introduced into Parliament today will provide landholders and resource companies with greater certainty when negotiating conduct and compensation agreements and make good agreements. Natural Resources and Mines Minister Dr Anthony Lynham s...

Read More

Land dealings lead the way

A Townsville lawyer believes Adani has set the standard for how mining companies should deal with landholders when negotiating to acquire land needed for large-scale projects.Emanate Legal’s Barry Taylor has been dealing with Adani since 2010 and has act...

Read More