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Lock the Gate:: loss after entering: Coal seam gas compensation payment agreement per csg well-head

Updated on January 3, 2013

Don't offer to boil the billy

When a coal seam gas company - Arrow, Origin, QGC, Santos - comes calling; don't let them in.  They will be real friendly -  they want to make millions using your land. To sell access, meet at your lawyers office.
When a coal seam gas company - Arrow, Origin, QGC, Santos - comes calling; don't let them in. They will be real friendly - they want to make millions using your land. To sell access, meet at your lawyers office. | Source

Strong negotiators reported to get $5000 per well head

Compensation paid per well-head: Compensation In Queensland varied by land use. The drive was now to move into NSW farmlands and and to coal seam investors argued they could not get what they wanted - access to farmlands for coal seam gas wells and roads and waste dumps - "Wholesale gas prices across NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania will rise between 20% and 25% (in real terms) by 2030".
Who gets the carbon credits? Coal seam gas was also a great earner of carbon credits, according to investors. So far no offer of carbon credits appears made to land holders.
Investors carbon credit claims: A coal seam gas investor -paid report by WorleyParsons, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Study of Australian CSG to LNG reported:

  1. For every tonne of CO2 emissions associated with the CSG-LNG production and use, up to 4.3 tonnes of emissions are avoided when the gas is used instead of imported coal by Chinese power generators;
  2. A CSG-LNG project exporting 10 million tonnes of LNG per annum to China could avoid more than 32 million tonnes of global CO2 emissions each year.
  3. Over a 30-year project life, such a project could avoid 968 million tonnes of CO2, which is almost double Australia’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions. Multiply 968 million tonnes of CO2 by $23 tonne - the current price. Who gets the money?

Coal seam gas compo:

  1. Payments depended on "whether you are talking to a cotton farmer or whether you are talking to a cattle farmer": but payment ranges were:
  2. upfront about $10,000 to $20,000.
  3. per well head around about $5,000 a year; or

Tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars: "I am aware of some farms, for example, where it is hundreds of thousands, and for others it is tens of thousands. It varies on the property. The Senator from Queensland, Barnaby Joyce forced compensation information from Richard Wilkinson, Chief Operating Officer, Eastern Australia, of the coal seam investors' gas lobby group, Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, APPEA.
Secret revealed: The information was previously secret, as the coal seam gas firms - Arrow, Origin, QGC, Santos had required 1400 land holders - who had signed for compensation - to sign confidentiality agreements. Some some signed for low rates - like $250 per well; and others got hundreds of thousands. APPEA said the $5000 was an average; so some got more and some got less.
Get everything in writing: But if you do decide to negotiate, treat CSG development on your land as a serious business – get everything in writing and always respond in writing.
Engage your solicitor in all your communications and negotiations with the CSG Company from the outset.
It maybe a 70 year deal: Any relationship entered into between you and a CSG company is likely to extend beyond 30‐70 years.

The Queensland law:

  1. Companies must notify landholders before entering their land.
  2. They are generally required to give at least 10 business days notice before entering land for any form of activity.
  3. For any activities entailing some form of disturbance of the land, companies must have a negotiated conduct and compensation agreement with the landholder.


Lobby group for landholders

Lobby group for landholders
Lobby group for landholders | Source

Option two - do not let them in the gate:

You may just want your life to go on, unchanged. You may not want any compensation. It that case, legally, you must not let them in the gate - no matter how charming and friendly they are. If you invite them in, you have "given access".
Lock the gate:
- put a sign on the front gate;
- politely refuse to negotiate access and compensation agreements with the companies.
For example: Des Boyland Policies and Campaigns Manager, Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland said "quite a large number of our members of Wildlife are in fact graziers and farmers from Western Queensland. What they are singing out about is that they do not want compensation. I was at a meeting the other day where government officers stood up and said, 'If you're impacted, we'll compensate you.' The meeting got quite angry. People stood up and said: 'Can't you understand? We do not want compensation. We want to carry on our lives. We want to carry on with our traditions.'
Non-cooperation campaign:
Drew Hutton, from farmer lobby group Lock the Gate said " Towards the end of 2010, it became obvious that the state government and the federal government were going to give their approvals to three of the four big projects, and they did give their approvals in about October 2010. So we were faced with the prospect of either just rolling over and saying, 'There's nothing we can do about it,' or having to fight back. So all the groups met in my little office the Friends of the Earth office out at Warraand decided that we would start a campaign called 'Lock the Gate'.

Coal seam gas investors lobby group APPEA

This image shows the kind of  chit chat coal seam gas companies want on your land once you let them in. However watch out. They will be very charming people, they will look like farmers and wear farmers' hats and blue shirts.
This image shows the kind of chit chat coal seam gas companies want on your land once you let them in. However watch out. They will be very charming people, they will look like farmers and wear farmers' hats and blue shirts. | Source

Do not ask a gas company rep in for in for a cup of tea

They may not reveal all: You cannot rely on the CSG Company to fully disclose all their plans for your land to you.
For example they may start start with few wells and then come back and do many more. They - or another company - may plan

  1. pipelines;
  2. electricity lines;
  3. toxic water ponds, and
  4. lots of trucks and large earth movers;
  5. roads;
  6. land clearing;
  7. tree chopping; and
  8. and after the initial development, non stop privacy loss as lots of strange men walk around, and drive in trucks, as each well is checked three times a week.

You need to do your own research: Meet the coal seam gas company CSG Landholder Liaison Officer on neutral territory such as your solicitor’s office rather than meeting across the kitchen table in your family home.
Compensation Agreement: ”As landholder, you may find that you have more than one
company with Petroleum & Gas tenure over your property and have both Mineral Resources and Petroleum tenure over your property (coal and gas).
2,700 well heads at Roma alone: Senator Barnaby Joyce - who had received a notice from a coal seam company that it wanted to enter his lands - said the amount was too low, as the coal seam firms earned about $8,5 billion a year. "I will be generous to you. That means that you are giving them about $10 million to $15 million a year and you are still collecting $8.5 billion. That is not a bad deal. You would have to say that it is a pretty good deal".
Principle of productivity - lost: Coal seam gas firms paid 10 per cent of income to government - $850 million a year. A compensation formula considered:

  1. - how intensive the farm is being used:
  2. - how many hectares are not available to them for farming for the period of the project;
  3. - infrastructure built on their property: and
  4. - inconvenience.

$8.5 billion a year gross to coal seam companies: Joyce said "If you are getting $850 million a year then that would mean that you are grossing about $8.5 billion a year. The farmers are getting between $250 a well head up to, at best, about $8,000 or $9,000."
1400 sign for compo:
APPEA said "no company has sought compulsory access". But, in Queensland coal seam gas companies had the power to force access.

The law on access to land for coal seam gas

High Court Rulings on Trespass In Robson v Hallett [1967] 2 QB 939, Lord Parker CJ
High Court Rulings on Trespass In Robson v Hallett [1967] 2 QB 939, Lord Parker CJ | Source

Government appears aligned with coal seam gas industry

Joe Ludwig, the Federal Minister representing the Attorney-General, confirmed that the Federal Police were monitoring groups and individuals protesting against coal seam gas.

What the the law says

In Robson v Hallett [1967] 2 QB 939, Lord Parker CJ said (at 951):"the occupier of any dwelling-house gives implied licence to any member of the public coming on his lawful business to come through the gate, up the steps, and knock on the door of the house."

  1. This implied licence extends to the driveway of a dwelling-house.
  2. However, the licence may be withdrawn by giving notice of its withdrawal.
  3. A person who enters or remains on property after the withdrawal of the licence is a trespasser.”
  1. A sign at your front entrance clearly indicates that you do not give permission unless by invitation therefore entry is prohibited.
  2. Information from QLD has indicated that the police will enter through an open gate regardless of the sign, but cannot open one.
  3. Therefore, keep your gates closed.
  4. Police have also indicated that they cannot deliver a summons past a proper Trespass sign unless a felony has been committed under the Crimes Act and
  5. a warrant issued

If you decide not to negotiate with coal seam gas companies or coal companies: The Commonwealth Senate Rural Affairs Committee was told of a" non-cooperation campaign. Its aim is to call on landowners not to negotiate with coal seam gas companies or coal companies that wished to come onto their properties.
Lock the gate: Since then, about 1,500 farmers have taken up the call and locked their gates. They have:
- put a sign on the front gate;

- refused to negotiate access and compensation agreements with the companies.
No offence in refusing to negotiate: That is not against the law, by the way. It is just simply refusing to negotiate. There is no offence in refusing to negotiate.
What the miners may do next: However, after about 50 days, they can take you to the Land Court, he told the Commonwealth Senate Rural Affairs Committee.The minute it goes to the Land Court, they can legally come onto your property. My argument with landowners and most people accept this argument is that, the minute they try to do that, the rest of Australia will simply rebel against it. It would be absolutely unacceptable behaviour on the part of multinational mining companies to come onto a person's property, across their boundary line, against their wishes to trash their property. This is borne out: not one landowner has been taken to the Land Court by any coal seam gas company in this state, and there is a very good reason for that. They understand the logic of that argument but they also do not want a precedent set by the Land Court against them".

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