7th March 2013
LAND owners in the Western Downs, Maranoa and Upper Dawson districts are standing up for a fair go against a Queensland Government- owned corporation developing a series of high voltage transmission lines across their properties to service the booming coal seam gas export industry.
They have organised an E-petition against the activities of Powerlink Queensland, and have obtained the backing of land rights advocacy group, Property Rights Australia.
Petition organizers Gary and Kerry Ladbrook are at the hub of the proposed expansion.
“The Eurombah Transmission Network Project and Transmission Network Extension in North West Surat are for the sole benefit of private companies and their shareholders… They have been initiated by CSG companies to provide electricity to each and every compressor station and gas well they will construct in our region, “they claim.
“With the continuation of rising electricity prices (21% increase was the latest price detailed), we believe it would be in Queensland residents’ interest to ensure this type of infrastructure is designated as private and that the Gas Fields Commission ensure that such development is incorporated in the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004”.
“We believe it should come under Coal Seam Gas rules and not passed off as community infrastructure as it is for private companies and their shareholders to turn a profit”.
The developments will involve a network of proposed new lines near Wandoan, Injune and Taroom with a major hub at the power substation north of Yuleba.
Over 100 landowners are affected by these projects and their complaints include claims of poor consultation, trespassing on properties, a lack of compensation details, and inadequate weed control procedures.
Property Rights Australia president Joanne Rea, a Marlborough district grazier, said that some landowners had as many as a dozen mining, CSG and infrastructure companies all wanting access to their properties.
“They expect landowners to be at their beck and call, interrupting work schedules,” she said.
“Powerlink has added to a long list of companies, some of whom have a high-handed attitude, who are trying to paint landowners as unco-operative simply for trying to make a time to consult which fits their very hectic work schedule, gain more information and negotiate an outcome which causes minimum disruption to their business,” Mrs Rea said.
“Landowners have already won the right in court to have mapped details of where all infrastructure is to be located by CSG companies before they sign any agreement, but Powerlink in some cases, is refusing to give even basic details of where infrastructure will be.
“The fact remains that landowners have already been down the path of little to no consultation, poor access arrangements, inadequate compensation, lack of respect, no interest in being flexible to cater for the needs of a farming or livestock business and reported intimidation. If Powerlink thinks that this is the way to win the best deal for itself, it is mistaken,” she said.
Affected landowners say Powerlink Queensland intends to seek ministerial designation as community infrastructure on all of these projects.
The petition will be presented to Minister for Energy and Water Supply, Mark McArdle who will be responsible for the designation on these projects. The closing date for signatures is April 8.
The LNP Member for Warrego, Howard Hobbs, is included as sponsoring Member on the petition form. To find the petition look for Petition number 2058-13 on the Queensland governments current e-petition web page. The direct link is –http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=2058
Gary and Kerry Ladbrook said that five of a total seven planned electricity substations were on coal seam gas land. The main substation at Yuleba North was proposed on their perpetual lease grazing property (GHPL), with Powerlink intending to compulsorily acquire about 20ha (50 acres) for the substation under the Acquisition of Land Act 1967.
This would also have five transmission lines exiting and entering the property comprising three 275 kv capacity lattice towers and two 132 kv concrete towers.
“Many properties in the vicinity will have two power lines traversing their land. Over 100 landholdings will be affected by these projects,” the Ladbrooks said
For further information contact:
Dale Stiller, 956 Upper Downfall Creek Road GULUGUBA QLD 4418
Ph: (07) 46 282 173 Mobile: 0427 282 173 Email: email@example.com
PRA is a non-profit organisation of primary producers and business people from rural
areas defending the rights of property owners