Formalise position on farmland exploration

WAFarmers is calling on the peak body for Australia’s oil and gas exploration industry to formalise its position when it comes to exploring on farmland.

 As the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) holds its annual conference and exhibition this week, it is the opportune time to consolidate the industry’s position when it comes to land access, compensation and rehabilitation regarding farmland, WAFarmers Senior Vice President Tony York said.

 “Ideally, WAFarmers would like to see guidelines established by APPEA for their members to follow when entering into exploration and production relationships with farmers which are mutually beneficial,” he said.

 “It is vitally important that the rights of land owners are respected by oil and gas companies, adequate compensation is provided and damaged land is properly remediated.”

 Mr York said having such guidelines accepted and followed by members of the industry would prevent cases such as Arc Energy & Origin Energy v Rodney and Annette Copeland, which will likely go to trial in the second half of this year, ever ending up in the court system.

 “For the past 15 years, the Copelands have been fighting to have gas wells removed from their Dongara property and to get proper compensation to cover the effect of gas operations on their land and business,” Mr York said.

 “Examples like these show that farmers are getting the raw end of the stick when it comes to oil and gas exploration.

 “WAFarmers has discussed these issues with APPEA in the past but we are yet to see any progress. WAFarmers is willing to work closely with APPEA to represent the interests of farmers and ensure both parties can work together for mutually beneficial outcomes.”

Ends.

All media requests must be directed to WAFarmers Marketing and Communications Officer Leslee Hall on (08) 9486 2100 or [email protected].

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