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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

NTCA welcomes the Land Access Legislation: Calls on it to be replicated with mining industry

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Press Release

The Northern Territory Cattlemen’s Association has welcomed changes to the Petroleum Act that allows for Land Access regulations to be made and that land access agreements to be mandatory.

NTCA Chief Executive Officer Ashley Manicaros said the same principles should be enacted with mining legislation.

“This means in the future a land access agreement will need to be in place before any access to the land can occur. No access agreement. No access,” Mr Manicaros said.

“This is a major adjustment to the power imbalance that was recognised by Justice Rachel Pepper in the Scientific Inquiry into Hydraulic Fracturing and we thank the Northern Territory Government for accepting her recommendations in totality and then enacting them in full. We also thank the gas industry for the constructive way they have approached these discussions especially around the 24 minimum standards and compensation.”

“Changes to Clause 21.1 to the Petroleum legislation and the insertion of the words “land access agreement” allows for regulations to be made a range of provisions including mandatory land access agreements. This is a major improvement because previously onshore gas companies only had to give 14-days-notice before they could commence work.”

Mr Manicaros said the same minimum standards and requirement for land access agreements before accessing land should be applied to the mining sector and mining legislation.

“The power imbalance with mining companies is no different,” Mr Manicaros said. “This approach gives everyone a level of certainty and structure. It allows there to be a set of standards which must be met and applies a set of timelines for everyone to operate within.”

“Pastoralists want resource companies held to account for any damage they do, and they also want to ensure the maximum reduction in risk. While many pastoralists do not want their multi-million-dollar operations disrupted or the environment which is critical to their success jeopardised they have little or no way of stopping it.”

Mr Manicaros said it is still the policy of the NTCA for veto rights to be afforded to landholders.

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