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New report helps guide farmers through new land use on their properties 16 Apr 2013

An analysis of the impact of coal seam gas and open cut mining on agricultural landholders has informed the development of a report that examines how rural property owners can best co-exist with other sectors that are looking to utilise the resources on or near their property.

The study, jointly funded by the Rural Industries R&D Corporation and Meat & Livestock Australia, provides an analysis of the impacts of new or alternate land uses on agricultural landholders and their communities and documents best practise for co-existence.

The report provides a checklist that landholders can refer to when they are discussing or negotiating the use of their property by third party operators. These third party operators may include representatives from the coal seam gas, mining, energy generation and even greenhouse gas storage sectors. The report advises landowners to seek specialist advice relevant to their particular circumstances and the information contained in it is intended for general use to assist public knowledge and discussion.

The report’s lead author, Michael Clarke from AgEconPlus, said the impacts of new land use on agricultural landholders were dependant on a wide variety of conditions.

“We found that the type of new land use, type of agricultural landholding and even the individual personality and policies of the landholders and companies involved all played key roles in determining how smooth the process and how successful the outcome was,” Mr Clarke said.

“The study used case studies of coal seam gas in the Queensland Surat Basin and open cut mining in the NSW Hunter Valley to look at the production, social and regional impacts of these industries on agricultural landholders. It also looked at the experiences of other countries, such as with wind turbines in France and oil sands in Canada.”

RIRDC Managing Director, Craig Burns said the report is timely because there is an increasing need for agricultural landholders to co-exist with other sectors.

“To date there’s been a limited number of guidelines available to landholders to assist in negotiating the conditions of a co-existence agreement. This report will go some way towards providing a better defined process and hopefully with better outcomes for the parties involved,” Mr Burns said.

The report was supported by the National Farmers Federation, the Cattle Council of Australia, the Sheepmeat Council of Australia, the Australian Lot Feeders’ Association and the Red Meat Advisory Council. 

The report, titled ‘Determining appropriate co-existence arrangements for agricultural landholders’ is available for free and can be downloaded from the RIRDC website: https://rirdc.infoservices.com.au/items/12-114