Bill to defeat CSG coal conflict

A NEW petroleum and gas industries legislation in Queensland was introduced last week to quell any conflict and confusion that may arise when coal and coal seam gas exploration and production activities occur in the same area.

Staff Reporter

Mines Minister Stephen Robertson said the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004 made sweeping changes to Queensland's 80-year-old petroleum legislation to make companies producing, transporting, and using petroleum safer and more efficient.

"These laws also implement the first comprehensive coal seam gas regime in Australia, which will underpin our rapidly growing coal seam gas industry," he said.

"The commercial production of coal seam gas under a single Act that provides clear, unequivocal rights to coal seam gas tenure will give investors the certainty they need to bring new projects to fruition."

Robertson said that providing clear rules, rights, and obligations for the coal and coal seam gas industries to work co-operatively would ensure the optimum development of Queensland's resources.

"The new regime places great importance on encouraging consultation and negotiation to reach commercial agreements about the co-ordinated development of the two resources.

"But if co-ordinated development can't be achieved, the Act will still provide certainty for current and future investment."

Robertson said the new laws also introduced for the first time full competition in awarding petroleum exploration tenure.

"Full competition, utilising a tender process for an authority to prospect for petroleum, will ensure our petroleum and gas resources are allocated efficiently and transparently to the benefit of both the industry and the people of Queensland," he said.