This Bill proposed by Greens Senator Larissa Waters:
- provides that Australian landholders have the right to refuse the undertaking of gas and coal mining activities by corporations on their land without prior written authorisation;
- sets out the requirements of a prior written authorisation;
- provides for relief which a court may grant a land owner when prior written authorisation is not provided;
- prohibits hydraulic fracturing for coal seam gas, shale gas and tight gas by corporations;
- and provides for civil penalties.
A Senate Inquiry was initiated on the Bill on 5 March 2015.
A submission was made by Sharyn Munro, author of the book Rich Land Waste Land How Coal is Killing Australia, on behalf of The Bimblebox Allliance Committee. It has been published on the Parliament of Australia website, on page 5 of the Submissions list for the Inquiry, along with a Right of Reply response from AGL.
A report on the Bill was due on 31 August 2015.
A Senate Inquiry report was published on 30 September 2015. It concluded: “The committee also does not consider that it was provided with sufficient credible scientific evidence during the inquiry to justify a ban on hydraulic fracturing”, and recommended that the Senate not pass the Bill.
The Greens published a dissenting report, which noted that the balance of power was heavily skewed toward big coal and gas, Australia should be moving toward clean energy and renewables, and submissions indicated that the community supported this Bill, and recommended that the Bill be passed.
Despite the fact that 95% of 377 submissions supported the Bill, landholders still do not have the right to say “No” to coal and gas.