From the Australian:
OUTSPOKEN Nationals frontbencher Barnaby Joyce has vowed to protect prime farm land from mining and coal-seam gas, and ensure that an inland railway line connecting Brisbane and Melbourne is built by 2026.
Mr Joyce said he would maintain his steadfast support for protecting prime farmland from mining and CSG, despite having a close friendship with influential mining magnates. Billionaire Gina Rinehart attended Mr Joyce’s election night party. He said prime farmland and aquifers should be “off limits” to mining and CSG, while “people’s quiet enjoyment of houses should be protected”.
In the battle between good agricultural land and mining, farmland should “win every time”. He said he had been “more vociferous than others” in parliament about these issues, and he pledged to remain so in government.
Mr Joyce supported the need for effective and transparent regulation and monitoring of the resources sector.
In regard to CSG production, he said farmers should earn a percentage of the value of production of gas on their land.