Wheels start turning at Coexistence Queensland

Grain Central June 17, 2024

The GasFields Commission has rebranded as Coexistence Queensland, and now takes in renewable energy projects such as this wind farm at Dulacca, as well as non-renewable energy projects. Photo: RES

THE QUEENSLAND Parliament has passed legislation which the Qld Government has will strengthen coexistence between the state’s resources, agriculture and renewable-energy industries.

The reforms include expanding the remit of Queensland’s coexistence institutions including the GasFields Commission Queensland, which will now be known as Coexistence Queensland after the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2024 passed on Wednesday.

Coexistence Queensland’s expanded role will be to provide enhanced information, engagement and education services to the community and industry on land access and coexistence issues across the resources and renewable energy sectors.

Previously this institution’s focus was just on the onshore gas industry.

Other coexistence reforms include expanding the remit of the Office of Groundwater Impact Assessment (OGIA) to provide advice to government entities on subsurface impacts from petroleum and gas activities, and expanding the role of the Land Access Ombudsman.

This role will now provide support to stakeholders on a broader range of land-access disputes through an alternative dispute resolution pathway.

The legislation also includes amendments that are improving processes for assessing and administering resource authorities and reducing the state’s financial risk from resource companies failing to comply with their environmental or rehabilitation obligations.

The reforms are being promoted as building stronger relationships between resources, agriculture and other land uses, and aligning with key focus areas outlined in the Queensland Resources Industry Development Plan.

Resources and Critical Minerals Minister Scott Stewart said Coexistence Queensland waswell placed to provide support to landholders engaging with renewable energy companies, and other types of resources companies, that are seeking access to their land”.

Minister of Energy and Clean Economy Jobs Mick de Brenni said the state was leading the country in developing practices for coexistence between agriculture and resources sector.

“Coexistence Queensland is an expansion of our highly successful GasFields Commission and will be a trusted independent body to support the valuable partnerships between the state’s resources, agriculture, and renewable energy industries,” Mr de Brenni said.

Coexistence Queensland chief executive officer Warwick Squire said the organisationwill play a key role in connecting landholders, community, industry and government”.

“We’re excited our remit will expand to address coexistence matters across the broader energy and resources under our new name Coexistence Queensland,” Mr Squire said.

“It’s about ensuring industry development occurs in a socially responsible and sustainable way, with the interests of community at its core.” 

During the debate, Queensland Shadow Minister for Resources and Critical Minerals Dale Last criticised the lack of consultation for the amendment.

“Yet again we have a bill before this House without, according to the submitters to the committee, appropriate consultation, a concern that was echoed in the committee’s second recommendation and highlighted by both the Australian Energy Producers and the Queensland Renewable Energy Council,” Mr Last said.

“On this occasion the committee found a total of nine areas that require further consultation, including engagement with stakeholders and consultation on the funding model for the Land Access Ombudsman.”

Source: Queensland Government


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