Gasfields Commission set for revamp

Queensland’s Gasfields Commission is set for a shakeup during the next phase of gas development and production in the state.

The Gasfields Commission and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2017 was introduced on Wednesday this week and will aim at better serving landholders, communities and the onshore gas industry.

“The comprehensive reform package, including new Land Access Ombudsman, will deliver better outcomes for all gas stakeholders,” said State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham.

“The bill introduced is the first stage and will set up the Gasfields Commission to provide strategic direction and to implement that better on the ground – in line with other independent statutory authorities.”

The bill will:

  • Give the Gasfields Commission a more active role in health and well-being matters, delivering information and ensuring effective community engagement with health specialists and service providers. For example: This would include raising awareness of health and well-being issues with government agencies and facilitating information sharing and communication. For example, the Commission recently convened a ‘Think Tank on Health Issues and CSG’ in Toowoomba with representation from community, research, government and industry.
  • Change day-to-day operations and community engagement, extension and communication will be undertaken by Commission.
  • Change the General Manager role to a Chief Executive Officer to reflect the broader responsibilities for the position when the chairperson and commissioners are appointed on a part-time basis.

The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) has welcomes the release of proposed legislation to enhance the operations of the Queensland GasFields Commission.

APPEA Queensland Director Rhys Turner said the proposed package of reforms unveiled by Queensland State Development Minister Dr Anthony Lynham was based on a balanced review of options.

“Queensland is a case study in how agriculture, regional communities, and natural gas production can work together to maximise the benefits to communities,” said Mr Turner.

“The Commission is a key part of the Queensland Government’s approach of supporting coexistence.

“It is a trusted, independent body that has helped the communication between communities, the industry and governments.

“A commitment to coexistence and win-win solutions for regional communities and onshore gas production continues to produce results in Queensland.

“The vigour and engagement the new Commission Chair, Ruth Wade, has shown in her role has also been widely appreciated and respected.”

 

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