Barnaby Brings The Elephant Into The Room

27 Jul

From the Australian Financial Review via Queensland Country Life (emphasis added):

Nationals senator Barnaby Joyce asked a question at a federal Senate inquiry during the week that went to the heart of the issues surrounding coal seam gas miners’ controversial use of land.

He asked representatives of the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association, including former Santos vice-president Rick Wilkinson: “You are giving landholders $10 million to $15 million a year [in compensation] while you are collecting $8.5 billion a year. You would have to say that’s a pretty good deal, right?”

Although there are countless protests about gas miners’ impact on prime farming land and water tables, Senator Joyce’s question brought the elephant into what was an already packed room, reports The Australian Financial Review .

In Australia, where miners have the right to walk on to a property and take out what they like from the ground, compensation packages are relatively frugal.

Texas land owners in the US control the subsurface and, as such, control much bigger cuts of the exploited resources.

Some critics hope for a moratorium on CSG projects until environmental effects are better understood.

But that is unlikely to happen where governments estimate the gas industry based in just one region such as Gladstone could generate 18,000 jobs and up to $850 million a year in royalties.

Cotton Australia’s Michael Murray revealed in the Senate inquiry that specific requests from the federal Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Tony Burke, to protect the Condamine Alluvium were knocked back by the Queensland government.

He said that the requests by the minister were amendments of an environmental impact statement provided by a gas company seeking to start exploration in the area.

The reason why Australian farmers – and our precious agricultural land – are treated like dirt by the mining industry, is a complex and nuanced reality.

One which can be summarised easily.

And brutally.

That reality is this.

Our nation is a quarry.

A quarry to be exploited.

By the mega-wealthy international banking class.

And by the myriad of bottom-feeding parasites, who live very well indeed off the not-inconsiderable crumbs that fall from the table of the banksters’ globalised feeding frenzies.

As I always say, in a world where nothing is as it appears – Life is actually quite simple.

If you want to know what is really going on …

Follow The Money.

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3 Responses to “Barnaby Brings The Elephant Into The Room”

  1. JMD July 27, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    “Texas land owners in the US control the subsurface and, as such, control much bigger cuts of the exploited resources”

    That’s interesting, we need something like that here. Even the exploitation of groundwater falls into this category. At present your neighbour could be ruthlessly drawing down your aquifer, since they are likely connected & you have no recourse.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus July 27, 2011 at 10:40 am #

      A Twitter follower alleged this morning that the subsurface of Oz land owned from pre-1910 is the property owner’s. No reference to substantiate though, and I imagine even if true, probably of little comfort or legal value to most Oz property “owners”.

      • JMD July 27, 2011 at 12:41 pm #

        I suppose I should investigate. As far as I’m aware ‘ownership’ of groundwater resources is at best a grey area. Around here there is no restriction on what you can use groundwater for & so how much you can use.

        Not that I’m saying there should be restrictions but it would be good to know that you have some recourse if someone surrounding your property was consuming large amounts of it at your expense. There is no info on how fast or even if the aquifer is being recharged.

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