Chris Kirk is one of many CQ farmers worried about the impact of LNG projects.
Chris Kirk is one of many CQ farmers worried about the impact of LNG projects. Chris Ison

Water supply major concern

CHRIS Kirk hopes never to face the problem of a mining company wanting to run a coal seam gas pipe through his land.

Mr Kirk is one of many Central Queensland farmers concerned about the impact coal seam gas could have on their livelihoods following Friday's approval of two major projects.

On Friday, Environment Minister Tony Burke announced his department had given conditional environmental approvals for Gladstone Liquefied Natural Gas (GLNG) – a joint venture between Santos, Malaysia's Petronas and France's Total – and BG Group's Queensland Curtis LNG.

Mr Kirk, who breeds cattle at Bajool, said he was concerned about the environmental impact of the projects.

“I have concerns about the underground water,” Mr Kirk said.

“We get restrictions on us, for what we can do, but it seems as though they let the mining companies do what they want.”

While his land is not directly affected at the moment, with projects expected to spread, Mr Kirk said he would not want mining companies using his land.

“I'd be protesting against it,” Mr Kirk said.

AgForce Central Queensland Regional president Christine Rolfe said there would be a large impact on landowners who had pipeline easements through their land.

“Some of the problems are the splitting of property and the size of the easements required,” Ms Rolfe said.

“The initial construction phase is usually fairly onerous with lots of vehicles and machinery involved; they carry weeds and all that sort of stuff.”

She said it was important for the initial consultative process needed to be a very open and transparent process, with compensation paid to land owners.

Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek yesterday said proper enforcement and monitoring of the LNG projects should take place to protect Queensland's prime agricultural land and underground water.

He said while the LNP welcomed the green light for the coal seam gas projects in Central Queensland, it was now up to the Federal and State governments to ensure there were no adverse impacts on farming and water in the region.

“The Santos natural gas (LNG) project and British Gas Curtis LNG project are worth $30 billion and will be the most significant new energy development in Queensland's history,” Mr Langbroek said.

“However, the onus will be on this State Government to ensure that all of the operating conditions are met by the industry to protect the communities, the farming land and water.

“There must be constant monitoring to ensure risks are contained and that no problem slips by unnoticed.”



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