Hasn’t the government already said it will protect agricultural land?
No, all it has promised is to protect ‘the best of the best’.
Only 4% of Queensland land is suitable for cropping but the premier has committed to protect only a portion of this land.
This was highlighted in November 2010 when she gave the go ahead to Xstrata’s huge Wandoan mine on good cropping land rather than wait for the Strategic Cropping Lands consultation process and legislation to be enacted. Coal and gas legislation is still weighted heavily in favour of mining and gas companies.
Landholders are given only 40 days to negotiate access with gas companies; if agreement is not reached within that time, the company can refer the matter to the Land Court. This automatically grants them access to private land without any decision from the Land Court.