The Government of Queensland is investing more than A$7 million over two years to support landholders and communities co-existing with the Coal Seam Gas industry.
Minister for State Development and Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dr Anthony Lynham on Monday said the money would be allocated over two years to fund the ongoing operations of the specialist Coal Seam Gas Compliance Unit.
“The unit is a one-stop shop for community and landholder enquiries, concerns and assistance relating to CSG issues,” Dr Lynham said. “The CSG-LNG industry makes a significant contribution to the Queensland economy through the jobs and royalties, regional growth and economic benefits it delivers for our communities."
However, the long-term success of this industry must continue with community support and grow with a strong social licence, he added.
“That means the industry has to operate sustainably within a strict regime of environmental, Land Access, safety and health and water monitoring requirements. The government expects landholders and industry to treat each other with mutual respect and the CSG compliance unit is an integral part of maintaining the relationship,” he said.
The unit comprises groundwater experts and field staff skilled in environment and Land Access Issues and currently has 25 fulltime positions based in Toowoomba, Roma and Brisbane.
Unit field officers provide services throughout the Surat, Bowen and Galilee Basins. The unit has responded to more than 2000 enquiries since the unit was established by a previous Labor government in 2011.
The unit's work included investigating landholder complaints about potential water bore impacts by CSG operations, audits and inspections relating to CSG land access issues and weed hygiene on properties and community information events.
Queensland has become Australia's biggest gas hub. The state exported more LNG than Russia during the March quarter of 2016, according to the latest report from EnergyQuest.
Adelaide based consultant EnergyQuest said that during the three months, Queensland exported 3.8 Mt of LNG - more than the whole of Russia's 2.5 Mt of LNG exports. “Queensland's performance is extraordinary, from zero LNG exports as recently as 18 months ago to more than Russia already,” EnergyQuest CEO Dr Graeme Bethune said. “Queensland's LNG projects have all ramped-up more quickly than expected and are near or exceeding nameplate capacity. The whole process has been very well managed with little apparent market disruption.”
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