Title

NSW landholders want a halt to coal seam gas

Database

Electronic Media Monitoring Service 

Date

02-08-2011 08:20 AM

Source

ABC Canberra 666

Parl No.

 

Channel Name

ABC Canberra 666

Start

02-08-2011 08:20 AM

Abstract

 
End

02-08-2011 09:00 AM

Cover date

2011-08-02 08:20:37

Citation Id

337722

Enrichment

 
Reporter

EASTLEY, Tony

Speaker

CLARKE, Sarah

URL

Open Item 

Parent Program URL
Text online

No

Media Deleted

False

System Id

emms/emms/337722

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NSW landholders want a halt to coal seam gas -

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TONY EASTLEY: The rapidly expanding coal seam gas industry is moving from Queensland into New South
Wales.

But it's hit some stiff opposition in the North West of the state. Farmers are denying access to
companies seeking to drill on their land.

It comes as the Federal Senate inquiry moves into the region to investigate the industry's impact
on prime agricultural country.

Environment reporter Sarah Clarke reports from north western New South Wales.

SARAH CLARKE: The country around Moree in north western New South Wales is prime farming and
grazing land.

But it's what lies beneath the soil that now has landholders concerned, including Natalie and her
husband, James Tydd.

JAMES TYDD: Well, my husband and I have two small girls and we've recently built a house and it was
our forever house. And now, I don't know.

SARAH CLARKE: This area is now the target of companies in search of coal seam gas.

An exploration license has been placed on the region, but unlike other areas where access has been
negotiated, and agreed, these farmers have said no.

JAMES TYDD: We've all locked the gates in this area. We've erected signs to say as much, trespass
signs. People can't arrive at our property without prior appointment now, which is what they were
doing from the start because they just weren't showing any genuine human respect.

SARAH CLARKE: Fifty farmers have started a joint fighting fund. There'll be no negotiations, no
meetings, and no access granted to companies for exploration.

Third-generation farmer Doug Kuch says landholders here had no choice.

DOUG KUCH: We don't have any reason why we would want to negotiate with these companies because
it's just a lose-lose scenario for us.

The Government is not prepared to listen to the problems that are associated with what is going to
happen. All they're interested in is that they're going to get a royalty out of it and they don't
care if there's no grain belt here in 25 years time.

SARAH CLARKE: It's the first step in what could be a lengthy process. Coal seam gas companies can
also take landholders to court.

Today a Federal Senate inquiry investigating the industry's impact on agriculture in the Murray
Darling basin will swing through the region to hear evidence.

One of the first in the stand is the mayor of the Moree Plains council, Katrina Humphries.

She too has taken a hardline stance and put a ban on all exploration on shire property and public
roads.

KATRINA HUMPHRIES: Why do we have to keep fighting for our existence, you know? I am really, really
over it.

We have this dreadful meddling from governments that have grossly mismanaged the whole economy and
I understand they need the mineral resources to balance the books.

But in 20 years time, there's no point in having the books balanced and the people starving. It's
ridiculous and why should our community be under the threat of a legal challenge because they don't
want to let people onto their properties. These are their homes.

TONY EASTLEY: The Mayor of Moree Plains Shire Council, Katrina Humphries, ending that report from
Sarah Clarke.

The company Planet Gas which has an exploration license in this region did not return AM's calls.