Sydney Morning Herald - 26.11.2010
Laws allowing miners to enter properties in Queensland are “incredibly draconian” and ignore the rights of landholders, the Queensland Council for Civil Liberties (QCCL) says.
Instead of being protected by a charter of rights, Queenslanders are at the mercy of parliament, QCCL vice-president Terry O’Gorman told AAP.
Farmers have resorted to a Lock the Gate campaign in southern Queensland in an attempt to fend off multinationals looking for coal seam gas and coal.
Amendments to the law mean that when a dispute over a miner’s right of entry to a property reaches the Land Court it automatically gives miners a right of entry to that property before the court even begins to hear the dispute.
“These powers were brought in by the Geothermal energy Bill 2010 and frankly parliament has got the balance between the rights of farmer-landholders and the rights of miners completely wrong, giving far too many rights to mining companies over the rights of landholders,” Mr O’Gorman said.
That’s the problem. In a state like Queensland parliament can legislate, in effect, as it likes and it then falls to the landholder in this case, to bring an action to say their rights have been inappropriately trounced.”
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