Rural Queensland landholders remain concerned about potential groundwater impacts and increased biosecurity risks from resource developments, an AgForce Projects survey has found.
The AgForce Projects survey of 227 rural landholders conducted throughout April and May this year showed that while relationships between landholders and resource companies were improving, more than half those surveyed were dissatisfied with agreements around land access and compensation.
CSG Project Leader Daniel Phipps said AgForce Projects conducted the survey to assess landholders' perspectives on the resources sector and get a better understanding of landholders' needs.
"The results show landholders are concerned about the potential impacts of resource developments on their individual bores (60%) and the cumulative impacts on groundwater in their region (69%), while they are also worried about weed and biosecurity risks (66%)," he said.
Mr Phipps said landholder satisfaction with Conduct and Compensation Agreements (CCAs) remained low, with 54% dissatisfied based largely around concern about potential or actual breaches by staff or contractors and a lack of enforcement by government.
"The level of concern about CCAs is consistent with previous surveys, with landholders wanting more upfront information about a resource company's planned activities and a 'make good' clause on groundwater impacts to feel confident about negotiating an agreement," he said.
Mr Phipps said 40% of landholders had a satisfactory relationship with the resources company they dealt with, up from 30% in 2015, while the number of landholders who trusted or somewhat trusted companies had risen from 15% to 42% over the past two years.
"Landholders continue to show high levels of recognition and trust in the information and support provided by the AgForce Projects team with trust levels above 70%, while more than 90% of landholders want the support service to be maintained," he said.
"With about 6800 production wells drilled so far and estimates of 18,000 wells required across the coal seam gas industry, there is significant development yet to occur, so it's vital for landholders to be as informed as possible about developments in the sector and what changes to government legislation mean for them."
Mr Phipps said AgForce Projects had provided support to more than 6000 landholders through workshops, field days, information sessions and one-on-one assistance since the landholder support program first began in 2011, and the survey helped the team tailor the information and services provided.
"It's all about ensuring we are doing everything we can to help landholders understand their rights and responsibilities so they can protect their properties, their businesses and their livelihoods," he said.
The full results of the AgForce Projects CSG and Mining Survey will be outlined at a free webinar this Thursday 22 June from 1pm to 2pm. For more details and to register for the webinar, visit http://bit.ly/2s6IHDQ
The AgForce CSG and Mining Landholder Support Project is delivered with the assistance of the Queensland Government, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, the Queensland Resources Council and the GasFields Commission Queensland.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Scott Whitby 0418 733 102, Sarah Henderson 0427 626 853