Identifying opportunities to further improve Western Australia’s land access arrangements for private land will be the focus of the Western Australian Land Access Working Group, formed as part of a Parliamentary Inquiry recommendation.
In August 2013, the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs identified the emerging unconventional gas industry in Western Australia was a source of community interest.
As a result, the Standing Committee undertook a two-year investigation of hydraulic fracturing and its implications for the State, with particular emphasis on environmental considerations. The Standing Committee tabled its Report No. 42 ‘Implications for Western Australia of Hydraulic Fracturing for Unconventional Gas’ on 17 November 2015, which included 12 recommendations.
A whole of Government response to the recommendations was subsequently tabled in the Legislative Council on 16 March 2016.
Recommendations 5 and 6 (Chapter 5 of Report No. 42) concern land access agreements between landholders and resource companies.
The Government’s response to Recommendation 5 states it will continue to improve mechanisms for negotiating access agreements with landholders, including the use of independent mediation, with input from the Working Group resulting from Recommendation 6.
In response to Recommendation 6, the Government noted a new model agreement for access to agricultural land, developed by the petroleum industry and farmer groups (announced on 30 October 2015). The agreement was endorsed by the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, Western Australian Farmers Federation (Inc), Pastoralists and Graziers Association of Western Australia, and vegetablesWA. The Government committed to the Department of Mines and Petroleum establishing a working group to develop recommendations for any proposed changes to be made to the model agreement. The need for a statutory framework may be considered in the future on recommendation of the Working Group.
The Working Group’s first meeting was held on 15 December 2016.
Stakeholders will have a number of opportunities to provide input to the review. Further information will be made available in early 2017.
The Working Group’s findings will be delivered to the State Government by 31 December 2017.
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Documents and Publications
Legislative Council Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs – Report No. 42
Government response to recommendations of the Legislative Council Standing Committee on Environment and Public Affairs Report No. 42
Farming Land Access Agreement Template
New Land Access Working Group established (15 September 2016)
Minister welcomes new gas agreement for agricultural sector (30 October 2015)
For further information contact:
Phone: (08) 9222 3215