Wambo Cattle has criticised a proposed water reform bill
Wambo Cattle has criticised a proposed water reform bill Ren Lanzon

Feedlot slams push to give coal seam gas rights to water

A DALBY feedlot company has slammed a proposed water reform bill claiming it would "retrospectively" give coal seam gas companies water rights.

A submission to the Parliamentary Agriculture, Resources and Environment Committee from Wambo Cattle Company said the Water Reform and Other Legislation Bill 2014, which had a public hearing yesterday, gave gas companies water access rights over landholders.

"To retrospectively give these "rights" to tenure holders without public consultation shows that the current government has little interest in supporting the community values which were incorporated in their 2012 policy," the submission read.

Similarly Sunshine Coast academic Dr Claudia Baldwin, who told the committee she worked on the Water Act 2000 and had consulted with other state governments on water reform, said the proposed bill was in "blatant disregard" of science.

"We do not want to repeat the costly struggles and buybacks which were required to remediate the Murray-Darling system. Yet this legislation sets up the guarantee that this is precisely what we will be forced to do," she said.

The committee also heard from resource industry bodies, the Queensland Resources Council and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association.

They stated that while they broadly supported the changes they also had concerns regarding changes to water access.

The groups were concerned with broadened powers to issue bore assessment notices, which APPEA said had the "potential to significantly impact the petroleum industry given the cost of assessing bores".

The committee is scheduled to report to parliament on the bill by November 17.

- APN NEWSDESK

 



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