CSG challenge heads for Supreme Court
AN ELEVENTH hour decision by State Mining Minister Stirling Hinchliffe to approve a Part Five Permission application lodged by coal seam gas company QGC to force a landholder to provide resource sector employees access to his cattle property at Eidsvold is set to be challenged in the Supreme Court.
Mr Hinchliffe’s decision has over ruled months of difficult land access negotiations between landholder Michael Baker, Chess Park, and QGC over the construction of a gas pipeline across the property.
The impacted landholder, Michael Baker, Chess Park, Eidsvold, had never opposed the construction of the QGC pipeline at his property since negotiations with the company began in February 2011.
However, Mr Baker was determined to learn as much as possible about the infrastructure and processes employed by QGC and requested the company provide information detailing how the pipeline would be constructed and what activities would take place on his property.
His own investigations into the CSG industry’s activities, through discussions with landholders at Guluguba and Wandoan who also had pipeline construction taking place at their properties, had raised concerns about the proposed pipeline project including the integrity of the welding, extended construction periods and disagreements of how the company accessed the properties.
Mr Baker’s request for a detailed construction plan for his property was met with resistance by QGC and further stalled negotiations until the company informed him in December of its decision to apply to Mr Hinchliffe for a ministerial order to force access to the property, through a Part 5 application.