Better arbitration deal for farmers welcomed

NSW Farmers today welcomed the NSW Government’s support for recommendations that will  improve the arbitration framework for exploration and improve farmers’ rights when negotiating with mining companies.

The recommendations were made by Mr Bret Walker SC who undertook an independent review of the arbitration framework under the Mining Act 1992 and Petroleum (Onshore) Act 1991.

NSW Farmers President Fiona Simson said: “For years there has been an unfair playing field when it comes to arbitration for access to farm land for mining or gas extraction.”

“The process is unduly weighted in favour of the extractive industries which is something we have consistently highlighted. We are pleased our suggestions to improve the system have been taken on board.

“We are also pleased that landholder’s time has been valued and that time spent in negotiations will be paid for by the explorer as well as costs associated with seeking a court determination.

“Implementation of these recommendations will be key and we on behalf of our members will ensure that the government is held to account.

“While many won’t be implemented until 2015, we urge the government to consider early implementation of the landholders’ right to legal representation. It is inequitable for farmers to have to wait another year for these changes to take place,” she concluded.

29 August 2014

Contact: Danica Leys

Phone: 1300 794 000

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