Farmer wants an income

THIRD-generation Queensland farmer Trevor Kehl has welcomed the coal seam gas industry into his home and says his neighbours are doing the same.

Bianca Bartucciotto

Kehl lives on a large piece of farmland in Roma in central Queensland in the heartland of Santos’ CSG upstream operations.

Despite what is often said of farmers’ opinions about CSG on their land, Kehl has welcomed the Santos development with open arms.

As a resources industry worker he said Santos’ low-impact drilling on his land was “thumbs up”

“It’s a good product I believe, it’s pretty easy burning,” he told EnergyNews.

“I’ll lose about 10 per cent of my country [but] I won’t lose any of my grazing country.”

Kehl said there were no secrets between neighbours in the town and everyone was on board to reap the benefits of the CSG industry.

He said his income had increased by 50% as a result from an upfront payment and ongoing payments from Santos for the life of the well.

He said because of the volatility of agriculture, the added income would be able to support him during leaner times.

Kehl said the environmental negativity surrounding the CSG debate was far outweighed by the benefits, owing to the lack of evidence that CSG has any negative impact.

“Because we can’t see either way, we gotta go with it for the financial benefit,” he said.

“Santos pretty much are addressing that.”

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