What have landholder experiences been and what can be improved?
AgForce Projects Coal Seam Gas (CSG) and Mining Landholder Support Project is dedicated to providing free and easily accessible information to landholders across Queensland regarding the CSG and mining industry including developments regarding legislation and regulation as well as support in negotiating agreements.
The project aims to provide landholders across Queensland with independent, factual and landholder relevant information to support landholders managing resource activities at any stage; from preliminary negotiations to ongoing management.
This webinar was conducted to provide landholders and those working with landholders, with an overview of the results returned from the 2017 Landholder CSG & Mining Survey. Over 220 landholders participated in the survey and AgForce Projects would again like to thank all those who took the time to complete.
The survey was designed to:
- Gauge and track landholder satisfaction with Conduct and Compensation Agreements (CCAs) and their relationship with resource companies;
- To identify impacts landholders feel they are experiencing from resource activities and gain practical insights of methods to minimise or mitigate these impacts;
- Provide an overview of the information and support landholders feel is required to support their CCA negotiations as well as managing on-property activities;
- Profile levels of trust landholders express towards key stakeholders including the Queensland Government, resource companies, research organisations and AgForce Projects; and
- Identify necessary improvements to information/assistance that landholders require as well as understand what advice they would provide to others beginning negotiations.
The valuable information collected through this survey will allow the CSG & Mining team to update workshops, materials and information provided to landholders to ensure we are providing the most relevant and effective information and support to assist in negotiating CCAs and managing activities.
Please feel free to contact the CSG & Mining Team with any questions regarding this survey or to talk about your experiences with CSG or mining to assist others.
To contact a CSG & Mining Team member call 3238 6048 or email email@example.com
- Over 227 responses received, 44% were actively negotiating or managing activities and 13% had recently been approached to negotiate;
- Landholder satisfaction with Conduct and Compensation Agreements (CCAs) remains low- only 18% felt satisfied with their CCA while over 54% were not satisfied or very unsatisfied;
- Key concerns continue to include groundwater, weeds/biosecurity impacts, property valuations and the time taken to negotiate and/or manage activities;
- To improve CCA negotiations more information regarding activities, impacts and expected landholder involvement is needed;
- 27% of landholders feel they have a satisfactory relationship with the resource company they deal with, while more than 45% felt they had an unsatisfactory or very unsatisfactory relationship;
- Conduct/behaviour and compliance breaches continues to be an issue; and
- Trust in industry and Government remains low- only 7% trust Government and 15% trust the resource industry while 74% of landholder's trust or somewhat trust the CSG & Mining Project as a source of information.
AgForce Projects reminds landholders that they are entitled to have their 'necessary and reasonable' legal, accounting and valuation costs incurred to negotiate a CCA reimbursed by the resource company. As such, we strongly encourage landholders to seek appropriate professional advice as part of CCA negotiations or in developing make good agreements.
As the resources industry continues to develop and expand across Queensland, we encourage landholders to ensure they remain aware and informed of their rights, responsibilities, industry developments and continue to access support services to assist, such as the AgForce Projects Landholder CSG & Mining Support Project which provides free support to all landholders.
For more information on the Project click here.
Below are questions raised by landholders before and during the webinar:
What did landholders indicate was the biggest concern regarding CSG or mining development?
As part of the survey, we asked landholders to rate their level of concern regarding aspects of the resources industry that may cause negative impacts or that they are concerned about. Based on the results landholders rated the following as their primary concerns:
- Groundwater impacts- both individual bores and regional impacts;
- Weed/biosecurity impacts and risks- including the potential for weeds to be brought onto the property (i.e. dirty equipment) and the potential spread or disturbance of weeds (i.e. clearing areas and weeds becoming established from existing seed bank);
- Land valuation impacts- the potential for property values to be impacted directly by activities (i.e. infrastructure) and non-direct impacts (i.e. perceived loss of value, amenity or in-direct groundwater impacts); and
- The time taken to negotiate agreements and manage activities post agreement- landholders indicating the time taken to negotiate agreements or manage activities post agreement are more than expected or told, and are causing a direct impact or cost.
Table showing the top responses for 'very concerned' in relation to potential impacts or risks compared to 2015 and 2014 results:
Level of concern (responses for 'Very Concerned')
Weed and biosecurity risks on property
Time taken away from business/property
Impact/s on your own bore
Cumulative water impacts (regional)
Agricultural industry productivity (i.e. lost land, water impacts, increased costs etc.)
What can landholders do in response to these concerns?
As part of land access negotiations, landholders and resource companies are required to develop a Conduct and Compensation Agreement (CCA) for advanced activities. It is in these agreements that landholders should include property specific conduct considerations. These may include weed management, access arrangements and the timing/location of activities. On the basis of information received through survey responses and gathered through workshops, the following conduct considerations may be taken into account when developing agreements.
Groundwater impacts: It is important that landholders are aware of the existence of a regional groundwater model for the Surat Basin. This model, the Surat Basin Underground Water Impact Report (UWIR) is developed every three (3) years by the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OIGA). The most recent report was released in 2016. This model identifies registered bores that are likely to be impacted by a trigger threshold within 3 years. This is called the immediately affected area (IAA). The long-term affected area (LTAA) are bores that are likely to experience an impact outside this initial three (3) year period. If a bore is predicted to be impacted within the IAA, then the responsible resource company must enter into a make good agreement with the landholder. Click here to find more about this process including the groundwater modelling and for additional information regarding make good. Landholders can also view the short and long-term affected areas as well as individual bores via the Queensland CSG Globe.
Weed/biosecurity impacts and risks: It is important that landholders become familiar with the mandatory requirements of the Land Access Code (2016) that relate to weed and biosecurity management. These include providing wash down certificates and developing plans to minimise the spread of weeds. The CSG & Mining team have also developed a webinar that explains weed/biosecurity management in more detail and is available here. For more information regarding weed/biosecurity management visit the AgForce Projects website. AgForce Queensland has also developed and collected materials to support landholders developing property weed/biosecurity management plans. To view click here.
Land valuation impacts: Resource companies are required to compensate landholders for any diminution of value or diminution of the use or future use and any improvements of their land. As part of land access negotiations, it is important that landholders develop a property plan (if not already documented) that can be used in negotiating agreements and determining compensation. This can also be a useful tool to improve infrastructure location to reduce impacts as well as outline future property plans and identify how proposed resource activities may impact on these. Under legislation, landholders are entitled to have their necessary and reasonable legal, accounting and valuation costs incurred to negotiate or prepare a CCA reimbursed by the resource company. As such, AgForce Projects encourages landholders to engage this professional advice to assist in developing agreements. Our CSG & Mining Team can also help landholders develop property plans through attending a property mapping workshop or contacting a staff member for assistance. To express an interest in a mapping workshop please click here.
To learn more about the land access process and possible considerations to include in agreements please visit our webpage.
The time taken to negotiate agreements and manage activities post agreement: AgForce Projects encourages landholders to understand what is required of them prior to developing a CCA as well as understand their obligations in managing activities after an agreement has been signed. The CSG & Mining Team can help landholders understand this process. Many landholders have expressed that the time taken to negotiate or manage activities post agreement, is far more than expected and is causing a direct cost/impact. Prior to starting negotiations, AgForce Projects encourages landholders to get in touch with a CSG & Mining team member to understand more about this process and to talk with other landholders who have successfully negotiated agreements. Significant time, energy and cost can be incurred through negotiations and/or managing agreements post negotiations. AgForce Projects has always advocated for landholders to be paid for their time spent negotiating agreements and any time spent managing activities post agreement. It is important you discuss with your resource company representative how they will address this and determine the most effective method to calculate. For more information please contact a team member call 3238 6048 or email a CSG Project Officer
What advice did landholders, who have developed a CCA, give to others?
Landholders who have negotiated an agreement indicated the following as advice to others about to enter the process:
- Utilise AgForce Projects CSG & Mining team for negotiation support, information on rights and free advice;
- Undertake a bore baseline assessment before activities start;
- Seek more information about company activities planned and talk to other landholders;
- Develop a property plan and map;
- Negotiate to be paid for your time; and
- Do more research about planned resource activities, understand potential impacts and know more about what to put in agreements.
In order to more confidently approach negotiations and manage activities, landholders also identified the following as important to consider or request from the company:
- Get a 3-5 year plan of the company's on-property activities;
- Seek more information regarding groundwater impacts to your property and region;
- Include a Make Good clause in CCAs about groundwater impacts and develop a bore monitoring program;
- Have the ability to review CCAs and/or the ability to review agreements periodically; and
- Seek more information and advice from other landholders.
To help landholders prepare for negotiations and manage activities, the CSG & Mining project will continue to run workshops and webinars that provide landholders with the most up to date information and will continue to provide case study landholder experiences to provide guidance of what to expect and considerations on how to manage.
Keep an eye out on the AgForce Projects events page for upcoming workshops.
Please contact a CSG & Mining Team member to request a workshop in your region.
Are there consistent issues landholders are raising or experiencing?
Through both workshops (over 6000 landholders since 2011) and survey results, landholders indicated that staff/contractor behaviour and repeated breaches of land access agreements is a major reason for having a negative relationship with a resource company and CCA dissatisfaction. In addition to this, continued uncertainty about groundwater impacts and a lack of upfront medium-long term development plans is restricting landholder's ability to confidently make decisions. Results also show that landholders feel they aren't included in decisions regarding activities including the timing and location on property as well as ways to minimise impacts.
To help resolve these issues, AgForce Projects encourages landholders to:
- Develop clear and strict conduct considerations in CCAs, including weed management, the location and timing of activities as well as methods to enforce these and clear pathways to resolve any issues/breaches. Landholders with any complaints or concerns are encouraged to first contact your resource company and if not satisfied, contact the CSG Compliance Unit (07) 4529 1500 / firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Consider including in CCAs a bore monitoring program and contact the CSG Compliance Unit to learn more about a groundwater monitoring program called Groundwater Net;
- Visit the Queensland Globe for an interactive version of the groundwater model (UWIR) which allows you to view short term and long-term affected bores and aquifers; and
- Contact a CSG & Mining Team member for more information and register to attend a Negotiation Support Workshop near you to find more about CCAs, groundwater impacts and how to protect your rights.
The CSG & Mining Project is delivered by AgForce Projects with the support of the Queensland Government, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Queensland Resources Council and the GasFields Commission Queensland.
The CSG Project is delivered by AgForce Projects with the support of the Queensland Government, the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Queensland Resources Council and the GasFields Commission Queensland.