LNG industry addresses concerns

AS liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Gladstone get closer to final investment decisions, communities along the LNG pipeline have voiced concerns over safety, the environment and land acquisitions.

The Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson scrambled out legislation last week after it was revealed a number of farmers have leaking gas wells on their properties.

And leading Australian coal seam gas explorer QGC has created a community committee to address the communities concerns.

QGC has announced the establishment community committees across the Queensland Curtis LNG (QCLNG) project area to facilitate information sharing with the community.

QGC General Manager Social Performance Mitch Innes said the committees would provide a forum for transparent, two-way dialogue between QGC and communities during construction and operation of facilities for the QCLNG Project.

“Importantly, we are also asking community committees to help us identify relevant and meaningful indicators to use in monitoring and reporting on QGC’s social and environmental performance,” he said.

Each community committee consists of up to 10 people from major interest sectors. Senior QCLNG project personnel also attend the meetings.

“QGC has sought representatives from local business and industry, environmental groups, community services, health, education and young people, women, landholders and indigenous people,” Mr Innes said. Local Marine Advisory Committee representative Blue Thomson is a member of the QCLNG Regional Community Committee and said he had already fielded questions from the community about QGC’s proposed operations and impact in the Gladstone region.

“The community committee is a good opportunity to make the general public more aware about the LNG industry,” Mr Thomson said.

“It will be a two-way process. The public can get their questions answered and QGC can find out more about what the broader community is thinking.”

QGC worked with staff from The University of Queensland’s Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining to develop the structure, membership and terms of reference for the committees.

The QCLNG Regional Community Committee is one of six established by QGC across the project region.

Three committees have been established to represent the northern, central and southern gas fields region on the Western Downs.

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